Today, we wind up our special feature - Top 30 under 30 - with a vibrant splash of all of our young inspirational icons who made it to HT's list of the region's most promising achievers.
After reading about these 30 forces to be reckoned with from the region below the age of 30, which we presented to you over three days, quite a pertinent question comes to mind. A question which happens to be the topic for our celebrity panel discussion at the HT Youth Forum, taking place in Chandigarh this evening. Is India short of youth icons? Something to think about...
Saina Nehwal, 22,
badminton player, Hisar
Nehwal took home the bronze medal at London Olympics 2012, making her the first Indian to win a medal in badminton at Olympics. She is currently ranked number four in the world by the Badminton World Federation. Nehwal also won the Singapore Open title on June 20, 2010.
Deepinder Goyal, 29,
At 25, Goyal founded India's biggest restaurant guide, zomato.com. Currently, the site gets more than 3.5 million visitors a month, with more than 30,000 restaurants listed on Zomato. It is one of the top five restaurant discovery services. Since 2010, $6.5M has been invested in Zomato.
Vanya Mishra, 20,
Miss India, Chandigarh
Miss India World 2012 ,Vanya Mishra made it to the top seven at the recently held Miss World pageant in China. The Chandigarh stunner took home two coveted titles -
Miss World Beauty With a Purpose Award, and the first ever Multimedia Award at the event.
Vijay Kumar, 26,
sport shooter, HP
Kumar won the silver medal in the individual 25-metre rapid-fire pistol event at the 2012 London Olympics. The Subedar Major in the Indian Army, who belongs to Himachal's Hamirpur district, had also bagged three gold medals and one silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Rukmani Riar, 24,
civil servant, Hoshiarpur
Riar, who aspires to facilitate the betterment of society, secured the second rank in the Civil Services examination 2011 conducted by UPSC)
A Master of Arts from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, Riar cleared the coveted exam in her first attempt.
Yogeshwar Dutt, 29,
Dutt recently did the country proud by winning a bronze medal in Men's 60 kg Freestyle wrestling at the London Olympics, becoming the third wrestler in India to have won an Olympic medal. He had previously bagged a gold medal at the 2003 Commonwealth Wrestling Championship.
Mandeep Singh, 20,
The right-handed batsman for Kings XI Punjab in IPL season 5, received the Rising Star Award this year in IPL, as the highest run-getter for Kings XI Punjab and 10th highest scorer of IPL 2012. He was recently selected for the India A team tour to New Zealand in September.
Dr Shena Aggarwal, 25,
The Yamunanagar girl beat 4,73,290 candidates from across India to bag the first position in the UPSC civil services examination 2011. The AIIMS doctor is currently assistant commissioner of income tax, National Academy of Direct Taxes, Nagpur.
Mandeep Kumar, 28,
film director, Hoshiarpur
The Mumbai-based director gave us the 2011 Punjabi hit, Jihne Mera Dil Luteya. So impressed was Tips Industries with the mechanical engineer-turned-director's work, that they offered him Riteish Deshmukh-Genelia D'Souza starrer Hindi film, Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, to direct.
Sukhbir Singh, 17,
As a child, Singh lost his arms in an accident. But that hasn't hindered him in any way. Born in a poor Dalit family in Urrang village of Punjab's Malout district, Singh successfully passed Class 10 examinations this year (he appeared with a helper). He is also skilled in writing with his foot.
Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar, 26,
Asgar is the first Muslim woman from Jammu to get into All India Services and is the first woman to top the J&K administrative services. After topping the state-level CSE (secured the 118th ranking) in 2010, she achieved another feat by cracking the All India Civil Services Examination.
Abhishek Gupta, 26,
Abhishek led the company's commercial and supply chain teams and introduced efficient systems and processes. Prior to being appointed as the MD, Trident group, he was heading the corporate marketing and innovation team and providing strategic direction to marketing teams of all verticals.
Bharti Singh, 26,
stand-up comedian, Amritsar
The queen of Comedy Circus reality TV series, Singh never ceases to leave viewers in stitches, earning her the rank of India's favourite female stand-up comedian. Now, she's taking on the big screen in Bollywood film, Khiladi 786, and Punjabi film, Yamley Jatt Yamely: The Urban Tadka.
Diljit Dosanjh, 27,
Though Diljit's singing won him appreciation, it was his Punjabi movie, Jatt & Juliet that made people sit up and take notice. Breaking the records of all Punjabi movies released internationally,
Jatt & Juliet went a long way in adding to Diljit's popularity.
Yami Gautam, 23,
TV & film actor, Chandigarh
Gautam made her TV debut with serial Chand Ke Paar Chalo (2008), but it was her next serial, Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kam, in 2010, that fetched her popularity. It was, however, her role as the Bengali girl, Ashima Roy, in the Hindi film, Vicky Donor, that earned the actor national recognition.
Sarika Katoch Panwar, 30,
social worker, Kangra
Honoured as 'young champion' by Queen Elizabeth, Sarika has established more than 80 Red Ribbon Clubs to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in Kangra's villages. As a result, the 30-year-old has been representing India for three years at the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Yo Yo Honey Singh, 29,
Singh has become the highest paid musician in Bollywood by charging R70 lakh for one song in upcoming film, Mastaan. And, his track, Gabru, from his latest album, International Villager, topped Asian music charts. His song, Angreji Beat, was featured in Bollywood blockbuster, Cocktail.
Parineeti Chopra, 23,
actor, Ambala Cantt
Chopra made her screen debut in a supporting role in Maneesh Sharma's Ladies VS Ricky Bahl (2011), which won her 16 different awards. Her second movie (first solo debut) - Ishaqzaade (2012) - declared her an actor, with critics calling her a force to be reckoned with.
Manvinder Bisla, 27,
Bisla was relatively unknown until IPL season 5, when the wicket-keeper opener of the final match scored the crucial 89 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders to win the title. He, however, started out as a medium-pacer. He was also adjudged 'Man of the Match' for his efforts.
Abhijit Singh Chadha, 20,
Chadha is an Asian Games (2010) silver medallist and the winner of Surya Nepal Open (March 2012) - his second tournament as a pro. He is ranked 11th in the Professional Golf Tour of India Order of Merit. He was also a part of the Indian team, which won a bronze in Nomura Cup in Japan.
Karan Kundra, 27,
TV actor, Jalandhar
This cutie made girls go weak in the knees after playing the lead role in TV serial, Kitni Mohabbat Hai, which aired on NDTV Imagine from 2010 to 2011. After being seen in Punjabi film, Pure Punjabi, this year, Kundra is currently back on TV, hosting Gumrah - End of Innocence on Channel V.
Archana Sharma, 29,
research scholar, Bilaspur
Pursuing her PhD in High Energy Physics from Panjab University, Chandigarh, in collaboration with the world known high energy experiment, CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) at CERN, Geneva, Sharma is working with the world's best scientists and experimentalists.
Gunjan Utreja, 28,
TV anchor, Chandigarh
Utreja has hosted more than 1,000 live shows across the globe. Currently, he is hosting Aamna Saamna on Colors and talk show See Taare Mastiii Mein on Masti, where he interviews Bollywood's A-list film stars. He is also India's first webcert jockey, hosting a talk show on artistaloud.com.
Mohit Raina, 29,
He has garnered a huge fan following across the globe through his enactment of Lord Shiva on hit Hindu mythology-based TV serial, Devon Ke Dev - Mahadev. Raised in Karan Nagar, he went on to do several soaps and a Hindi film before landing the role of Shiva, last year.
Sahej Bakshi, 25,
Bakshi composes, produces and performs as a one-man act known as Dualist Inquiry. In March 2012, he opened for all three shows of international superstar DJ David Guetta on the DJs maiden tour of India. In May 2012, he opened for famous UK DJ, Fatboy Slim, in Delhi.
Bhumika Girdhar, 27,
Ratia's rising star is already producing TV ads, corporate films, documentaries and serials through her production house, Bhumi Telefilms, which she launched last year. She is also a popular face on TV, acting in serials such as Kahani Chandrakanta ki, Chandramukhi and CID.
Raj Pandit, 18,
music producer, Srinagar
At 12, Pandit set up his own music studio. Lately, He has lent vocals to the song, Signal Pe, for Hindi film, Traffic Signal. Pandit also worked as an additional programmer and assistant engineer on Bollywood movies such as Jodi Breakers, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl and Cocktail.
Harish Verma, 29,
Verma became a popular face after enacting the role of Avtaar in TV series, Na Aana Is Des Laado, on Colors. Recently, he was seen in popular Punjabi film, Yaar Anmulle, enacting the character of Jatt Tinka, for which he also won the Critics Best Actor Award at PTC Punjabi Film Awards 2012.
Kabir Chowdhry, 26,
film director, Chandigarh
Chowdhry's independent Hindi film, Good Morning, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the South Asian International Film Festival in New York. The dark drama was also screened at the Mosaic Festival in Canada and is going to a film fest in San Francisco.
Bijoy Singh Kochar, 17,
student, SAS Nagar
Kochar secured the second all India rank in IIT-JEE 2012. He also topped the All India Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana 2011-12 merit list, won a silver medal in the Asian Physics Olympiad in July 2012 and ranked first at state level in the National Science Olympiad.