The awards will be conferred onto recipients by the president, in a special ceremony.
Three Indian Americans — Sitar and surbahar maestro Imrat Khan, MIT professor and edX CEO Anant Agarwal, TV Asia chairman HR Shah –are among the 75 recipient of the 2017 Padma Shri awards, India’s fourth highest civilian honor.
Imrat Khan, who lives in St Louis, Missouri, is the younger brother of late Sitar maestro Vilayat Khan, and is considered one of the wold’s greatest player of the surbahar, a deep-toned, sitar like instrument developed by his great grandfather, Ustad Sahabdad Khan.
Along with his brother Vilayat, Imrat Khan formed one of the first sitar-surbahar duos and pioneered the ‘gayaki ang’ technique, a ‘vocal manner‘of Indian instrumental music.
The 81-year-old Khan is currently a visiting professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Anant Agarwal, who devoted his time to develop edX, founded by Harvard and MIT, an online platform that brings courses to people at no cost is recognized for his contribution in the field of education.
The IIT Madras alumnus, who lives in Weston, was named in Forbes’ list of top 15 education innovators in 2012 and he taught the first edX course on circuits and electronics from MIT, which drew 1,55,000 students from 162 countries.
edX, termed ‘Harvard for All’, which is available in English and Hindi among other languages is among the best Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in the world. The courses include everything from Architecture, Economics and Engineering. It has tie-ups with institutions like Berkley, California, The University of Adelaide, Boston University, IIT Bombay and the likes.
Agarwal holds a Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array, and his work on Organic Computing was selected by scientific American as one of the 10 World-Changing Ideas in 2011.
HR Shah, who is being recognized for his contribution in the field of journalism, is the chairman and CEO of TV Asia. Originally from Bahadarpur in Gujrat, Shah is a well-known entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader and also the chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (USA).
Shah immigrated to the US in 1971 and came up from humble beginnings. He is the first Indian American to run a 24/7 TV station (TV Asia) in North America since 1997.
He received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2005, an award given to outstanding immigrants.
The awards will be conferred onto recipients by the president, in a special ceremony in March or April.