The countdown has begun for Varshada Kannadiga awards, the annual signature event of News 18 Kannada to be held next week. As a precursor to the event, a jury meet was held on Feb 7 with members comprising the who’s who of Bangalore. The jury was chaired by the esteemed former Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde.
The three hour meet saw active discussions about the nominees across all categories. The Jury put together had a good mix of seven eminent people from different sectors. From the Law enforcement, to politics, art and culture, entertainment, sports and corporate, the panel was well represented by all sectors. The roundtable saw a good amount of humour, related anecdotes, varied opinions about nominees and their contributions – before finally reaching a consensus.
The jury members were:
Suresh Kumar, education minister
Girish Kasaravalli, national award winning film maker and writer
Isha Pant, IPS, DCP South-east division
Bharati Vishnuvardhan, veteran sandalwood actress
Prashanth Prakash, co-founder Accel
Ashish Ballal, Olympian and Arjuna awardee
The awards are divided into eight categories -- literature, entertainment, public service, business, lifetime achievement, science and technology, sports. The other two categories are the Varshada Kannadiga and Lifetime Achievement awards. The names were shortlisted looking at people who have performed extremely well during the year, some unrecognised and extraordinary feats of ordinary people. The names were submitted by the editorial staff as well as those in the field outside. These names were filtered over and over again and finally, five were shortlisted in each category to be placed before the jury.
In the literature category, the nominees were Sudha Murthy, K Byrappa, Satyananda Patrota, Nemichandra and Omprakash HL.
In science and technology bracket, space programmer Anuradha TK, Dr BN Gangadhar of NIMHANS, Mahesh MB, Sridhar Nagaraj and Prof S Sadagopan made the list.
The sports segment had Krishna Naikodi, Nandita Naganagoudar, Niranjan Mukundan, Rajini Lakka and Raju Bhati on its list.
Similarly, the top pick from entertainment industry were Achyuth Kumar, Prashanth Neel of KGF fame, Rishab Shetty, Vasishtha Simha and Raj Shetty. The jury was in splits when Justice Hegde after reading the nominees wondered that there are many Shettys (a particular community from Dakshina Kannada) and how come his name was not included. "Even I do the job of entertaining at some level,’’ he remarked.
In the public service category, Tejaswini Anant Kumar of Adhamya Chetana, Adiveppa Patil, Basavalinga Swamiji, Prashanth SB and Prof GS Jayadeva were the nominees.
The business listing saw Aravind Melligeri from Quest Global, Arjun Ranja of Cycle Pure agarbattis, N Sathappan, Nitin Kamath and Nivedan Nempe.
Renowned heart surgeon Dr Devi Shetty, Sadhguru fame Jaggi Vasudev, write HS Venkatesh Murthy, comedian Pranesh Gangavathi and Titan’s honcho Bhaskar Bhat made it to the most coveted Varshada Kannadiga category
Finally, the crème de la crème -- Lifetime Achievement award. News18 had the most-loved Ananth Nag, writer Chennaveera Kanavi, cricketing sensation of yesteryears GR Vishwanath, Vikram Kirloskar and the father of Darshini hotel revolution R Prabhakar.
(We got this information in a press release.)