Russia has honoured three Indians, including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of parliament Murli Manohar Joshi, with top awards for their contribution to strengthening ties between India and Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of Friendship to Joshi and managing director of the joint Russian-Indian venture BrahMos Aerospace, A. Sivathanu Pillai for their contribution to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation with the Russian Federation, the development of scientific and cultural ties, and active charitable work, said a Russian embassy statement.
Lokesh Chandra, director of the International Academy of Indian Culture, was awarded the Pushkin Medal, the statement said.
Joshi, during his work as minister of human resource development and science and technology (1998-2004), actively contributed to strengthening of ties and expanding programmes for scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and India.
Pillai has worked closely with Russian organisations in various areas of military-technical cooperation and played a key role in the realisation of the unique idea of the joint venture BrahMos Aerospace.
Chandra, former Rajya Sabha member and former vice-president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, is one of the initiators of the Roerich Family Museum in the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in New Delhi, and a member of the board of trustees of the International Roerich Memorial Trust.
He advocates deepening of cooperation between Russian and Indian scientists in the preservation, study and development of the Roerich heritage in India for closer scientific and cultural cooperation between the two nations, the statement said.