• Tuesday, March 05, 2024


New Year honours: Professor Partha Dasgupta leads British Asian recognition with Knights Grand Cross award

Partha Dasgupta

By: Sarwar Alam

A Cambridge professor who is a leading global figure in the economics of the natural environment, Professor Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta; COP-26 president Alok Sharma and drinks company Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes are among prominent Asians who have been recognised in the New Year Honour’s List published late last Friday (30).

Professor Dasgupta has been recognised with the rare honour of the Knights Grand Cross for his services to economics and to the natural environment.

The accomplished Cambridge academic has led academic leadership into international government programmes to measure sustainable growth.

He won the coveted GG2 Hammer Award at the GG2 Leadership Awards, hosted by Garavi Gujarat newsweekly, a sister title of Eastern Eye, in March this year.

Former minister Sharma was recognised with a knighthood for his services to tackling climate change with the Order of St Michael and St George.

Menezes also received a knighthood.

Ivan Menezes

Professor Dasgupta’s research interests have covered welfare and development economics, the economics of technological change, population, environmental and resource economics, the theory of games, the economics of undernutrition, and the economics of social capital.

He told Eastern Eye he is trying to change “the grammar” of economic planning by persuading governments that they need to take into account what is happening to a country’s natural resources. (see interview on page 6)

Dasgupta was named Knight Bachelor in 2002 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Alok Sharma (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Responding to his recognition, Sharma said: “I am humbled to receive this honour. Delivering the COP26 conference and getting almost 200 countries to agree the Glasgow Climate Pact was a great UK team effort, supported by many of our dedicated civil servants and diplomats around the world.

“However, if we are to keep alive the prospect of limiting average global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, which will help to avert the worst impacts of climate change, all countries need to redouble efforts to meet their climate action commitments.”

Greater Manchester patient care expert, Professor Robina Shahnaz Shah (who received a damehood), Leicestershire GP Dr Mayur Keshavji Lakhani (knighthood), and National Care Association executive chair Nadra Ahmed (CBE) are among other top recipients recognised for their work.

Shah is considered one of the country’s leading patient care experts and international recommendations she helped develop for the World Health Organisation (WHO) were adopted as a set of standards for the UK.

She established the first national patients’ safety ambassadors training programme for NHS Trust Boards. She also set up the first ever UK medical school’s patient partnership collaboration, a network open to 40 medical schools, dedicated to patient centred education.

Twice each year, the honours list recognises the achievements and services of those who have made outstanding contributions to their field or who have dedicated their efforts in service to the community.

Menezes has been chief executive at Diageo since 2013. He joined Diageo in 1997 and held various senior management positions with Guinness, which Diageo manufactures, and was appointed president of Diageo Venture Markets in 2004.

Nadra Ahmed

Ahmed has been chairperson of NCA since 2001. She has been involved in the field of social care for over 35 years and until 2005 was the Registered Manager of two private care homes, having developed and run services since 1981.

She has served on government task forces and was the vice chairperson of Skills for Care for 11 years having been appointed at its inception.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, founder of British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), was awarded a CBE for services to equality, diversity and inclusion.

A retired paediatrician, he founded BAPIO in 1996 after he witnessed the struggles of overseas doctors in the NHS.

Dr Ramesh Mehta, president, BAPIO

Dr Mehta told Eastern Eye: “I’m delighted, and more so because it is my work on equality, diversity and inclusion. I’ve been working for inclusion for so many years. This is what I want in the country, equality, and inclusion. And I’m pleased all the hard work I have been doing is now getting recognition.”

For his services to refugee integration, Dr Krish Kandiah, founder of Sanctuary Foundation, was awarded an OBE.

Dr Krish Kadniah

Dr Kandiah launched the Sanctuary Foundation in February 2022 with a rapid response initiative to inspire families, individuals, churches, community groups and businesses to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

In April 2022, the foundation was registered as a charity.

He told Eastern Eye: “It’s a privilege and an honour. I feel like I’m accepting it on behalf of so many people who have been incredibly generous to refugees.

“The passion to help refugees actually came from my mother, and my faith. She came to the UK from India and she faced a lot of racism and abuse as a young woman training to be a nurse. Some of the patients wouldn’t let my mum touch them, they asked for a white nurse.

“She kind of fought a one-woman resistance campaign against racism and xenophobia she experienced by opening our house up on a Friday night, cooking up a massive curry and rice and inviting anyone who didn’t feel like they fit in. It is actually how she met my dad, who was international student from Malaysia, and lots of other students nurses training alongside her from different countries.

“She created this oasis of kindness in the middle of a sea of hostility. And that really set the tone for my childhood.”

Hitan Mehta, executive director, British Asian Trust, was awarded an OBE for services to the community.

Mehta played a leading role in establishing the trust where he was the first ever employee.

He served as head of operations for the Prince’s Charities Events organising commercial activities to raise funds. He has first-hand volunteer experience with the Indian NGOs, the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Neasden, north London.

Hitan Mehta

He told Eastern Eye: “I feel a bit humbled. The work we’ve done at the trust isn’t just me. There’s a whole team of people and supporters who’ve brought all of this together, so I feel a bit humbled that I’ve been singled out for such an award.”

He added: “The British Asian Trust supports disadvantaged people in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We’ve helped support seven million people to date in the areas of education, livelihoods, mental health work, child protection work.”

Essex-based Fukhera Khalid, known as Frank, managing director, Elbrook Cash and Carry received an OBE for services to business, charity and to the community in north London.

Fukhera Khalid

Khalid told Eastern Eye, “It was a very pleasant surprise. You always hope you get something, because you put years of work. I’ve been doing this since I was 15 years old.

“I told my wife first about it and she was over the moon. My kids were absolutely happy.”

Aneeta Prem, founder and president, Freedom Charity received an MBE for charitable services.

She is known for her work against forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM), slavery and abuse of women and girls. She was instrumental in ensuring in 2014 that forced marriage was made a criminal offence.

Prem told Eastern Eye, “I receive the honour on behalf of all the team at Freedom charity that have worked tirelessly over the last 12 years to make forced marriage and virginity testing a criminal offence and the work was done with young people in schools. It’s an important day I think for the for the charity, not just myself.”

Asrar Ul-Haq, one of the first Asian police officers in Greater Manchester Police, spent his career building positive relationships between marginalised communities and law enforcement. He received an OBE for bringing together people from different faiths and backgrounds for a common good.

“I am humbled at having been nominated and to have been awarded an OBE. I feel privileged that someone has taken the time to nominate me. I’m excited as I hope this will provide a platform to enhance the work I do and create even greater opportunities for others,” Ul-Haq said.

Asians in the New Year Honours List 

Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire 

Professor Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta – Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge. For services to Economics and to the Natural Environment (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire  

Professor Robina Shahnaz Shah – Director, Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience. For services to Patient Care (Stockport, Greater Manchester)

Knights Bachelor  


Dr Mayur Keshavji Lakhani – Chair, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and General Practitioner, Highgate Medical Centre, Loughborough. For services to General Practice (Rothley, Leicestershire)

Ivan Manuel Menezes – Chief Executive Officer, Diageo PLC. For services to Business and to Equality (London, Greater London)

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire  

Nadra Ahmed – Executive Chair, National Care Association. For services to Social Care (West Malling, Kent)

Professor Vengalil Krishna Kumar Chatterjee – Professor of Endocrinology, University of Cambridge. For services to People with Endocrine Disorders (London, Greater London)

Dr Ramesh Dulichandbhai Mehta – President, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. For services to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Bedford, Bedfordshire)

Nageshwara Dwarampudi Reddy – Portfolio Director, Labour Market and Plan for Jobs, Department for Work and Pensions. For Public Service (Lytham St Anne’s, Lancashire)

Dr Gurdial Singh Sanghera – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc. For services to the Technology Sector (Oxford, Oxfordshire)

Jatinder Kumar Sharma – Principal, Walsall College. For services to Further Education (Perton, Staffordshire)

Jasvir Singh – Chair, City Sikhs. For services to Charity, to Faith Communities and to Social Cohesion (London, Greater London)

Professor Keshav Singhal – For services to Medicine and to the community in Wales (Wenvoe, South Glamorgan)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire  

Usman ALI Lately – Chair, Black Workers’ Committee, Scottish Trades Union Congress. For services to Equality and Cohesion in Scotland (Thornliebank, Renfrewshire)

Rashid Begum – Lately Acting Deputy Director, Home Office. For Public Service (Chelmsford, Essex)

Professor Nishi Chaturvedi – Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Director, Lifelong Health and Ageing Unit, University College London. For services to Medical Research (London, Greater London)

Professor Peter Ghazal – Sêr Cymru II Professor of Systems Medicine, Cardiff University. For services to Systems Immunology (Cardiff, South Glamorgan)

Ravinder Gill – Founder, College of Accountancy Ltd. For services to Higher Education (Weybridge, Surrey)

Puneet Gupta – Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PG Paper. For services to Business, to Charity and to the community in Scotland (Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire)

Mouhssin Ismail – Lately Principal, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre, London Borough of Newham. For services to Education (London, Greater London)

Saika Jabeen – Assistant Chief Officer, Nottinghamshire Probation Service. For Public Service (Littleover, Derbyshire)

Sharon Kaur Jandu – Director, Yorkshire Asian Business Association. For services to International Trade (Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Dr Harren Jhoti – Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Astex Pharmaceuticals. For services to Cancer Research and to Drug Discovery (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Dr Krishna Rohan Kandiah – Founder, The Sanctuary Foundation. For services to Refugee Integration (Henley, Oxfordshire)

Fukhera (Frank) Khalid – Managing Director, Elbrook Cash and Carry. For services to Business, to Charity and to the community in North London (Great Warley, Essex)

Professor Kantilal Vardichand Mardia – Senior Research Professor, Leeds University. For services to Statistical Science (Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire)

Hitan Mehta – Executive Director, British Asian Trust. For services to the British Asian Community (Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire)

Gotz Mohindra – Senior Volunteer, Conservative Party. For Political Service (London, Greater London)

Sheikh Aliur Rahman – Chief Executive Officer, London Tea Exchange. For services to the Tea Industry and to Young People (London, Greater London)

Riaz Shah – Founder and Chair of Trustees, One Degree Academy. For services to Education (Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

Professor Sunil Shaunak – Emeritus Professor of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London. For services to Infectious Diseases and Drug Discovery (Hertford, Hertfordshire)

Mahanta Bahadur Shrestha – Philanthropist. For services to the community in the London Borough of Ealing and to the Nepalese community (London, Greater London)

Asrar Ul-Haq – For services to the community in Greater Manchester (Rochdale, Greater Manchester)

Members of the Order of the British Empire  

Mesba Ahmed – Founder and Chief Executive, London Tigers Charity. For services to the community in London (London, Greater London)

Syed Samad Ali – Lately Teacher, Thornhill Academy, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear. For services to Education (Sunderland, Tyne and Wear)

Dr Minal BAKHAI (Minal JAYAKUMAR) – General Practitioner and Director, Primary Care Transformation, NHS England. For services to General Practice, particularly during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)

Nipa Devendra Doshi – Product and Furniture Designer. For services to Design (London, Greater London)

Saleem Fazal – Co-Chair and Co-Founder, Freehold LGBT+ CIC. For services to Inclusion in the Property Industry (London, Greater London)

Professor Nihal Trevor Gurusinghe – For Charitable Services (Preston, Lancashire)

Shadim Hussain – Chief Executive, My Foster Family. For services to Equality and to the Foster Care System (Bradford, West Yorkshire)

Sarah Johal – Strategic Leader, Regional Adoption Agencies. For services to Adoption and Fostering (Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Inderpaul Singh Johar – Co-Founder, Dark Matters Laboratories. For services to Architecture (London, Greater London)

Dr Atiya Kamal – Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Birmingham City University. For services to Health Psychology during Covid-19 (Burton on Trent, Staffordshire)

Mohammed Wakkas Khan – Founder, Young Interfaith. For services to Charity, to Young People and to Interfaith Relations (Whalley Range, Greater Manchester)

Dr Shaid Mahmood – Chair of Governors, Leeds City College Group. For services to Further Education in Leeds (Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Jaspal Singh Mann – Director, Simply Shred and Recycle Ltd. For services to the Environment (Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands)

Syed Khaja Mohi Moinuddin – Customs Cooperation Agreements Lead, HM Revenue and Customs. For Public Service (Westcliff on Sea, Essex)

Professor Dr Syed Naseem Naqvi – President, British Blockchain Association. For services to Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (Blackpool, Lancashire)

Bhavena Patel – Senior Relationship Manager, Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education. For services to Further Education (Coventry, West Midlands)

Veejaykumar Chimanlal Patel – Founder, Business 2 Business UK Limited. For services to Employment and Training (Leicester, Leicestershire)

Professor Prashant Pillai – Director, Cyber Quarter and Associate Dean, University of Wolverhampton. For services to Cyber Security and to Education (Solihull, West Midlands)

Aneeta Prem – Founder and President, Freedom Charity. For Charitable Service (Norwich, Norfolk)

Dr Mohammed Qasim – Lecturer and Welfare Officer, Gower College, Swansea. For services to Academic Research and to Young People (Swansea, West Glamorgan)

Abdul Aziz Qazi – Imam and Founder, Jamia Islamia Ghousia Trust. For services to the community in Luton (Luton, Bedfordshire)

Zebina Ratansi – Director of Nursing, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust. For services to Nursing Leadership (London, Greater London)

Dr Jyotiben Shah – Macmillan Consultant Urological Surgeon, University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Medicine (Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire)

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee – Chief Executive and Artistic Director, South Asian Arts UK. For services to the Arts, particularly South Asian Music and Dance (Leeds, West Yorkshire)

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire  

Nura Omar Aabe – Founder, Autism Independence. For services to People with Autism (Bristol, City of Bristol)

Shah Sheikh Shepali Begum – Lately Outreach and Impacts Manager, Commonwealth Games Legacy Team. For services to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (Birmingham, West Midlands)

Dr Wirinder Kumar Amar Nath Bhatiani – Lately Chair, NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group. For services to Health and to Diversity in Greater Manchester (Birchanger, Essex)

Ziana Ayesha Butt – For services to Netball and to Diversity (London, Greater London)

Zakaria Arif Dada – For services to the community in the London Borough of Merton during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)

Reena Gudka – Senior Executive Officer, Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities. For services to Civil Servants Affected by Eating Disorders (London, Greater London)

Javaid Iqbal – Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering (Birmingham, West Midlands)

Samina Qasim Iqbal – Foster Carer, Birmingham Children’s Trust. For services to Fostering (Birmingham, West Midlands)

Dr Sayyada Mawji – For services to Healthcare during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)

Neil Shonchhatra – For services to the Covid-19 Response (London, Greater London)

Amarjit Singh Soora For services to the community in Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge (London, Greater London)

Jagraj Singh Sran – For services to Charitable Fundraising and to the community in Cranford, London Borough of Hounslow (Middle Green, Buckinghamshire)


Masood AHMED –  President, Center for Global Development. For services to International Development.

Dr Mohamed IBRAHIM – Founder, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. For services to Charity and to Philanthropy.

The Rt Hon Alok SHARMA MP – President, the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). For services to tackling Climate Change.



Sonashah SHIVDASANI – Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Soneva; and Founder, Six Senses. For services to Tourism, to Sustainability and to Charity.


Vineet BHATIA – Chef. For services to UK Cuisine, to Hospitality and to International Trade.

Faraz KHAN – Founder and Director, Social, Entrepreneurship and Equity Development –SEED-Ventures. For services to UK/Pakistan relations.



Salman DESAI – Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Transformation, North West Ambulance Service

Eastern Eye

Related Stories

Eastern Eye


Mrunal Thakur on Dhamaka, experience of working with Kartik Aaryan,…
Nushrratt Bharuccha on Chhorii, pressure of comparison with Lapachhapi, upcoming…
Abhimanyu Dassani on Meenakshi Sundareshwar, how his mom Bhagyashree reacted…