Author and academician Alka Pande received this year's coveted Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres - Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters - award bequeathed by the French government.
The French government instituted the award in 1957 to recognise significant contributions in the fields of art and literature.
The award was bestowed upon Pande by the French ambassador to India, Dominique Girard, late Tuesday at the French embassy here.
|Author Alka Pande|
"Alka has done immense work in the field of art and literature and has brought many laurels for the country. Her work is a true reflection of how rich the Indian culture is," Girard told the audience, which comprised of stalwarts from the art, political and corporate world.
The glittering event also saw the launch of Pande's latest book - The New-Age Kamasutra for Women - by the ambassador.
"This award and the fact that I received it from the ambassador is a big thing for me. This day marks a very special moment in my life," said Pande, also a consultant art advisor and curator of the Visual Art Gallery at the India Habitat Centre here.
"I have been asked time and again by many as to why I write on a subject like Kamasutra and the intricacies of a relationship between man and woman. It's because when I started research on the subject, I felt that this is the beginning of creativity and the world," said Pande, who is also a reader in the department of fine arts, Punjab University.
The art historian has also written Ardhanarishvara - The Androgyne that dealt with the intricacies of both genders.
Other Indians who received the French honour include film critic Aruna Vasudev and Dhruv Sawhney, the Triveni Industries' chairman.