An Indian-origin British professor of chemistry, Shankar Balasubramanian, received a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the field of science and medicine at the New Year Honours announced on December 30, 2016.
About Shankar Balasubramanian
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian is an Indian-born British chemist and Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry the University of Cambridge.
- 50-year-old Balasubramanian, was recognised for his work as a co-inventor of Next Generation DNA sequencing, described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades.
- Presently known as Solexa sequencing, it allows an individual genome to be sequenced in a day or two at a cost of less than 1,000 pounds. Previously, sequencing the human genome took years of work and cost billions. His work has laid an entirely new discipline of Bioinformatics.
- Recently, he has also made major contributions towards understanding the role of DNA-quadruplexes in cancer and invented a method for the sequencing of epigenetic modifications.
About the New Year Honours 2017
The New Year Honours is a part of the British honours system, awarded as part of the New Year celebrations at the start of January 1. The awards are presented by or in the name of the reigning monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II or her vice-regal representative. British honours are published in supplements to the London Gazette.
- The New Year Honours lists 2017 recognise the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.
- This year’s honours are the most diverse since 100-year history of the Order of the British Empire there has never been a greater number of individuals from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
- In total 1,197 people received the award. 74% of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity.
- There are 603 successful women candidates in the list, representing just over 50% of the total while 9.3% of the successful candidates come from a BAME background, the greatest ever number of BAME recipients in an honours list.
Other Indian-Origin Recipients of New Year Honours
Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
- Hardip Singh Begol: for Education for services to education.
- Kamaldeep Singh Bhui: for services to mental health research and care.
- Neena Gill: for parliamentary and political service.
- Ravindra Pragji Govindia: for services to local government and the community in London
- Anita Thapar: for services to child and adolescent psychiatry.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBEs)
- Poonam Gupta: for services to Business and charity.
- Dr Brinder Singh Mahon:for services to education.
- Avtar Singh Purewal: for services to prisoners.
- Jasvir Singh: for voluntary service to faith communities and social cohesion.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs)
- Surjit Singh Chowdhary: for services to the Sikh community and charity.
- Parkash Singh Dhami: for services to charity and community Cohesion.
- Sunita Golvala: for services to South Asian Dance in the UK.
- Sarbjit Kaur: for services to policing.
- Massa Singh Nandra: for services to charity and the community in south London.
- Priyesh Patel: for services to the economy in Leicestershire and exports.
- Vanita Patel: for charitable services to human rights.
- Mukesh Shah: for charitable and community service in the UK and abroad.
- Sangeeta Rajesh Shingadia: for charitable service in the UK and India.
- Tony Singh: for services to the food and drink industry and charity
- Professor Sital Singh Sitara: for services to Sikh heritage and culture.
- Manisha Tailor: for services to football and diversity in sport
- Jaitinder Verma: for services to diversity in the arts, particularly Drama and
- Mira Vyas: for services to welfare and the community in London
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire
- Prithipal Singh Kang: for services to fire and rescue awareness;
- Davinder Kaur: for services to women’s enterprise.
- Sewa Singh Nandhra: for services to the community in London.
- Paritaben Patel: for voluntary and charitable services to poverty reduction in India.
- Induji Popat: for services to Asian women.
- Baljinder Singh Rana: for services to football and inclusion in Kent.
- Vijey Rattan: for services to interfaith relations in Enfield.
Awardees of Rio Olympics and Paralympics
- Knighthoods to Mo Farah for services to athletics
- Knighthoods to Andy Murray for services to tennis and charity
- Damehood to Jessica Ennis-Hill for services to athletics