Vijay Sharma, who led the development of the digital radio station BBC Asian Network, and Nilesh Samani, noted cardiologist, are to be conferred honorary degrees by the University of Leicester in recognition of their achivements in respective fields.
Sharma and Samani are among 14 individuals to be honoured by the university at its degree ceremonies from 15 July at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester, the university announced on Friday.
Vice chancellor Robert Burgess said: “It is important for us to be able to highlight the achievements of key individuals and it provides a valuable opportunity for students to see how they can aspire to be future leaders.”
Vijay Sharma transformed radio programming in the BBC’s Leicester radio station at a time when a large number of Indian and other south Asia origin migrants arrived in the east Midlands town from Idi Amin’s Uganda in the 1970s and later.
Programming targeting at the South Asian community increased from a few hours a week to the setting up a national radio station called BBC Asian Network, with the settled British Asian diaspora as its main audience.
An award-winning radio journalist, Sharma has also been active in fund-raising and charity activities in the east Midlands.
Nilesh Samani is Professor of Cardiology and Head of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester. Born in Kenya, Samani’s clinical practice is in adult and interventional cardiology.
His research interests are focused around understanding the inherited basis of common cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary artery disease and hypertension. He has been conferred several honours and fellowships for his work and serves on the editorial boards of several medical jourals.
In 2010, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire.