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UK's first Sikh and Asian judge gets Pride of India Award

world Updated: Sep 21, 2010 11:19 IST

Sir Mota Singh, UK's first Sikh and Asian judge, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II earlier this year, received the 'Pride of India Award' 2009 instituted by an organisation that promotes science and culture of India.

India's High Commissioner to the UK, Nalin Surie, presented the trophy at the 6th Annual Awards of the India International Foundation at the Marriott Hotel here last night in the presence of a distinguished gathering including NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Iltaf Sheikh and Gurdip S Gujral, CBE.

Lord Paul, recipient of the Pride of India Award from the Foundation last year, lauded the outstanding achievements of India and said "sometimes India is more democratic than most of the western countries."

He said India's High Commissioner Nalin Surie had done a marvellous job in bringing about an up gradation in the Indo-British relations.

Mota Singh held various responsible positions in Kenya and the UK in the legal fields such as Secretary, Law Society, Disciplinary Committee, Member, Kenya Council of Legal Education in Kenya.

He was knighted by the Queen this year.

79-year-old Mota Singh was raised and educated in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1954, he shifted to England to complete the remaining part of his studies of law.

He joined the English Bar in 1967 and within months developed a successful practice in civil law. Receiving the award, Sir Mota Singh said "India, which was considered as a third world country only a few years ago, is now on the brink of being a Super Power."

He said India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is held with enormous respect in the world. High Commissioner Nalin Surie said the awards would encourage the recipients to achieve "still higher" in their respective fields.

He said, "The UK has been a good host country and India-UK relations which has been good, has now moved into a higher trajectory - a strategic partnership at higher level."

Manek Dalal OBE, Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, was given the award for his outstanding achievement in 'Administration'.

Dalal, 92, who was called to the Bar, Middle Temple in 1945 after he did his MA from Cambridge, was formerly Vice chairman of Tata Group of companies. He started the Air India in the UK in 1948.

Asavari Pawar, daughter of India's well known Kathak dancer Partap Pawar, received the award in the field of Art and Culture. Pawar is a writer on dance and music and runs music and dance classes in Kalaashish in India.