Mar 12, 2014

In a ceremony held in New Delhi on Tuesday, 11 March, German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner conferred the prestigious ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’, Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit, on Anand Singh Bawa, Dr. Kalyan Sachdev and Prof. Seyed Hasnain.

Through this Order, Germany acknowledges the personal commitment and the outstanding contribution of the three awardees to Indo-German relations over the past decades.

Prof. Seyed Hasnain is a renowned microbiologist, especially acclaimed for his research work on Tuberculosis. He is awardee of one of Germany’s most important science awards, the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize. Prof. Hasnain was the first Indian to be honoured with the Robert Koch Fellowship and the first Indian to become a fellow of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He paved the way for the office of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in India. Today, DFG is one of Germany’s key players in science cooperation in India.

Bestowing the Officer’s Cross of Merit on Prof. Hasnain, Ambassador Steiner said, “During your stay at the Robert Koch-Institut in Berlin and the University in Würzburg you produced remarkable research results in microbiology. As diseases spread globally, constant scientific knowledge exchange – so well exemplified by you – is crucial. To say it in your own words: “Bacteria don’t stop at frontiers and neither should scientists”.

Anand Singh Bawa is the Honorary Secretary of Federation of Indo-German Societies in India (FIGS) since 1978. He has been the driving force behind numerous projects of FIGS such as the translation of German books for the Indian market, a series of lectures by eminent German and Indian scientists as well as a Trust Fund to commemorate German diplomat and indologist Wilhelm von Pochhammer.

Lauding Anand Singh Bawa, Ambassador Steiner said, “Until this very day, Anand Singh Bawa is the heart and soul of the Federation of Indo-German Societies in India, promoting tirelessly the Indo-German ties – infact, like an Ambassador.”

Dr. Kalyan Sachdev, Medical Director and Founder of Privat Hospital in Gurgaon, has been the liaison doctor for the German Embassy since 1975. His hospital is a temporary home for German patients as well as several young doctors from Germany who receive practical training from Dr. Sachdev and his team.

Bestowing the honour on Dr. Sachdev, Ambassador Steiner said, “Dr. Sachdev is always on duty, at midnight, during the weekend or while on a trip abroad. Reachable 24/7, he shows a tireless and emphatic engagement for our German patients. Even if a solution is impossible, Dr Sachdev finds one. A broken toe gets as much attention as a broken heart.”