Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday conferred the prestigious Panampally Prathibha Purasakaram on former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman G Madhavan Nair.
The prime minister said that he was delighted to present the award to Nair because "he has left a deep imprint on the space programme of the country" and now Indian satellites were being sold to Italy and other countries.
The award has instituted by the Samskara Sahithi, the cultural arm of the state Congress in the name of veteran party leader and eminent lawyer Panampally Govindan Menon, who also served as a minister in the central government.
Praising the Sahithi's work, Mamohan Singh said he was happy to know that it has set up 100 village units consisting of writers, artistes and farmers to take up the cultural activities.
All the top Congress leaders from the state including Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Shashi Tharoor, besides senior state Congress leaders including former chief minister K. Karunakaran were present on the occasion.
Former recipients of the award including actor Mohanlal and poet and social activist Sugathakumari were also present.