Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and ISRO Chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar and two others were conferred the prestigious SIES-Kanchi Seer awards in different fields at a function here on Sunday night, an official said here on Monday.
They were selected for the awards in Public Leadership and Science & Technology respectively.
The other two recipients were eminent UK-based Tamil, Sanskrit and Telugu scholar-cum-musician John Ralston Marr and Hari Katha exponent from Tamil Nadu Kamala Murthy.
The SIES-Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Awards carry a cash reward of Rs 250,000 each, a citation, a shawl and an ornamental lamp.
In his acceptance speech, Fadnavis said the award would be a constant reminder to him to do more good work for society.
Requesting the organizers to donate the award money to the CM Relief Fund, he said that the pain of the recent demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currencies would be ‘momentary’.
“We want to create a corruption-free state and graft-free society. Citizens’ cooperation is important to achieving this goal”, he urged.
Fadnavis said the award money would go towards implementing water conservation projects and pointed out that since his assumption to power, Maharashtra had risen to number three in education indicators.
“There are 17,000 schools where the learning ability is 100 per cent, we have made 4,000 villages drought-free and plan to make a total of 20,000 villages free of drought in five years,” Fadnavis added.
Instituted in 1998 in memory of the late Kanchi Seer Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati who passed away in 1994 aged 100, the awards were given away by SIES President V. Shankar before a distinguished gathering.