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Name of an Indian non-governmental diasporic award (Hindi: "Jewel of India", transliterated both as Hind Rattan and Hind Ratan) given yearly to about 30 members of the worldwide Indian diaspora (comprising the categories of both Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin) by the NRI Welfare Society of India (see below), at a ceremony in connection with the yearly "International Congress of Non Resident Indians" (held since 1982) on and around the Indian Republic Day (January 26) in New Delhi; the number of awardees varies, and can sporadically be 50 or even more. That, though awarded by a private organisation, the Hind Rattan can lay claim to prestigiousness, is shown by direct or indirect association of prominent personalities — including present and past members of the Indian Government — not only with the award ceremony, but also with the advisory board of the Society itself; among those associated with the board or present or past award ceremonies are the former Prime Ministers H.D. Deve Gowda and I.K. Gujral, ministers such as K.C. Pant and Oscar Fernandes, and former Election Commissioner G.V.G. Krishnamurthy. Ambassadors of countries with a high number of diasporic Indians are also regular atendees addressing the participants of the Congress at which the awards are presented.
However, the criteria based on which individual Hind Rattan awards are bestowed are unclear: potential awardees are nominated inter alia by a process of peer recommendation, but how and why the final awardees are chosen is not known, as the award committee does not publish its reasons. Moreover, the award comes only with this honour, no financial benefits; to receive it, recipients have to bear their own expenses for coming to New Delhi and attending the Congress mentioned above (see section on Controversial Issues).
At the same Congress, nine selected persons (mostly previous recipients of the Hind Rattan award) are usually presented with the Nav Rattan award (Hindi: "Nine Jewels", also transliterated as Nav Ratan, Navratan, Navrattan etc.). This award is named after the Navaratnas.
A further, very selectively presented, award is the Sword of Honour.
The NRI Welfare Society of India, with chapters in various countries, was founded in 1981 by Harbhajan Singh (died 2006), member of the Press Council of India (1982-1988), editor of the English fortnightly The Indian Observer, president of the All India Small & Medium Newspapers Federation, and recipient of the 2000 UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Gold Medal. As per its own depiction, the NRI Welfare Society of India understands itself as a link organisation between the Indian diaspora and the Government of India. It claims to be the premier organisation to have first given overseas Indians and people of Indian origin a voice for the Government to hear, and to have been instrumental in effecting several changes in the way the Government of India deals with the Indian diaspora, including the setting up of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the appointment of a commissioner for overseas Indians, steps for implementing dual citizenship, and the holding of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.
The NRI Welfare Society of India has not published any list of its award recipients, so this list is to be seen as a first attempt. In accordance with the guidelines WP:ELNO it lists only persons included in the Wikipedia.
Chatwal, Sant Singh
Das, Rahul Peter
Khabra, Piara Singh
Pandian, Malaysia S.
Sherazee, Mohammed Shafi Ata (Maung Maung Ta)
Syed, Ibrahim B.
Website of the NRI Welfare Society of India