Indian-origin cancer researcher knighted by Queen Elizabeth

London: An Indian-origin cancer research expert has received a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his "influential" work on prevention and treatment of cancer in the annual New Year's Honours list published here today.

Harpal Singh Kumar, who is the chief executive of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), has been honoured for services to cancer research and being "hugely influential in promoting research into the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and cancer care."

"CRUK's income and research spend are at an all-time high. Under his leadership, it has been instrumental in pushing the government to take further measures to reduce smoking and to ban sun-beds for under-18s," Kumar's citation reads.

"He also chaired the Independent Cancer Taskforce and authored the NHS Cancer Strategy 'Achieving World Class Cancer Outcomes. A Strategy for England 2015-20', published in July 2015," it said.


Queen Elizabeth II

Kumar leads this year's honours list of Indian-origin names, covering fields of entrepreneurship, financial services and community service. "He has been instrumental in setting up the Francis Crick Institute as a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation," the citation added.

Samir Desai, founder-CEO of Funding Circle, receives a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his work in the field of financial inclusion and Raminder Singh Ranger, chairman of Sun Mark Ltd, is awarded a CBE for services to business and community cohesion.

Among the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) list are Kala Patel, managing director of Kiddycare Ltd Nurseries, for services to childcare business and Daljit Lally, deputy chief executive of Northumberland Country Council, for services to integrated care. A British Empire Medal has been awarded to Aatin Ashok Anadkat, managing director of Hotel Maiyango in Leicester, for services to entrepreneurship.

The largest Indian-origin representation is among the list of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) which include Rekha Mehr, founder of Indian sweets inspired bakery Pistachio Rose, for services to entrepreneurship and enterprise; Ayesha Hazarika, chief of staff to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, for political service.

The other Indian-origins in the list include Gurmeet Kalsi, Building Services Engineer, Palace of Westminster, for parliamentary services and voluntary services to the Sikh community in Surrey. Jayshree Mehta, president of the Bharat Hindu Samaj, for services to the community and Satpal Nahl from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for services to taxpayers and public administration.

While Yasmin Mohammed Farooq Nathani, director of Shama Women's Centre, is named for empowerment of women in Leicester; Karnail Singh Pannu is for services to the community in Windsor and Maidenhead.
Mukesh Sharma, managing director of Selective Travel Management, for services to travel trade in Northern Ireland and Suresh Chandra Vashishtha for services to the community in the London Borough of Redbridge.

In total, 1,196 people have received an award in this year's list. In addition to the honours recipients, this year sees three new admissions to the Order of Merit, which is awarded to those who have rendered exceptionally meritorious services towards the advancement of the Arts, Learning, Literature and Science.

The award is in the personal gift from the Queen and is limited to 24 living recipients. This year it went to Iraqi-born Professor Lord Darzi for services to medicine, Professor Dame Ann Dowling for mechanical engineering and Sir James Dyson, of the Dyson vaccum cleaner fame, for his work in industrial design.

There are 578 successful women candidates in the List, representing 48 per cent of the total, and 5.7 per cent of the successful candidates come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The awards are presented in the name of the British monarch and published by the UK government in the London Gazette on New Year's Eve every year.

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