4 achievers receive New Year Awards 2023 at Manipal

09:15 PM Jan 14, 2023 | Team Udayavani |

Manipal: Reputed organizations of Manipal  — Academy of General Education, MAHE, MEMG, Manipal Media Network Ltd., and Dr| T.M.A. Pai Foundation – felicitated four great achievers with the New Year Awards 2023 on Saturday. Banking stalwart M.S. Mahabaleshwara, renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. P Sripathi Rao, Senior Professor and Pediatrician Dr. Pushpa G.Kini and modern-day Bhagiratha Amai Mahalinga Naik, were bestowed the award at a grand event held at Hotel Valley View in Manipal on January 14.


At the ceremony, Mahe Prof. Chancellor Dr. H. S. Ballal, Executive Chairperson of Manipal Media Network Ltd. and Vice President of Academy of General Education T Satish U. Pai, Trustee of MAHE Trust Vasanthi R. Pai, Chairman of the Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) and Registrar of Academy of General Education, Dr. Ranjan Pai, and Dr. T.M.A. Pai Foundation’s President T. Ashok Pai felicitated the four award winners.

In his acceptance speech, M S Mahabaleshwar said that this land was said to be the creation of Lord Parashuram. It is said that Lord Parashuram had a golden bead that could turn any object into gold. Similarly, Dr. TMA Pai had the golden touch that turned the rural area of Manipal into a region that reaps gold.

Amai Mahalinga Naik delivered his acceptance speech in Tulu and highlighted the need for water conservation. The Padma Shri recipient said that he never expected awards. “I worked tirelessly to dig tunnels to water the barren land. I never expected awards. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi honored me with the Padma Shri in recognition of my achievements. I am happy that many people come to my abode which was once a  barren land for drinking a glass of water…  We need to convey to the next generation the importance of water conservation,” he said.

Expressing his happiness over receiving the award, Dr. P Sripathi Rao reminisced about his association with KMC, Manipal, which helped him reach new heights.


Emotional at being honored with the award,  Dr. Pushpa G Kini recalled the challenges of her medical career, and the cooperation of management, faculty, students, and doctors of Manipal institutions.

Here is a brief introduction of recipients of New Year Awards 2023

Banking stalwart, M S Mahabaleshwara

Mr. M S Mahabaleshwara is a giant in the banking industry with over 37 years of banking experience both at operational and administrative levels. In 2017, M S Mahabaleshwara M.S. took charge as Managing Director & CEO of Karnataka Bank. After the successful completion of his first term of three years, RBI re-appointed him for a further period of three years in 2020.

Mr. Mahabaleshwara joined Karnataka Bank after completing Masters in Agricultural Sciences (M.Sc. Agri), with a specialization in Agronomy, from the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bengaluru. He is also a Certificated Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers (CAIIB) and Honorary Fellow of the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF) & holds Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) from St. Aloysius College, Mangaluru.

Under his leadership, Karnataka Bank implemented its most sought-after wholistic transformation exercise ‘KBL-VIKAAS’ to reposition the Bank as ‘Big, Strong and Vibrant’ & the ‘Digital Bank of Future’ in the years to come. Further, he had played a pivotal role in the ‘Digital Banking’ & ‘BPR’ (Business Process Reengineering) initiatives of the Bank on earlier occasions.

Noted orthopedic surgeon, Dr. P. Sripathi Rao

Born in 1953, Dr. Pangal Sripathi Rao earned his MBBS from St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru. Continuing his further studies into Orthopaedics, he received degrees including D.Ortho in 1978 and MS in 1981 from KMC, Manipal. Dr. Rao joined KMC as faculty in 1981 and became the head of the orthopedics department during 1996-2001. Later he served as Dean of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. He is a pioneer in the field of arthroscopic surgery in India.

Dr. Rao was recognized as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) by the Royal College of Surgeons, London, UK in the year 2010. He has also served as the secretary and president of the Indian Arthroscopy Society and President of the Karnataka Orthopedic Association. He has also served as a consultant orthopedic surgeon at MedCare Orthopedics and Spine Hospital in Dubai.

Paediatrician and Professor, Dr. Pushpa G. Kini

Dr. Pushpa Kini completed her primary and high school education at Canara Group of Institutions and later pursued her PUC education at St. Agnes College. During her college studies, Dr. Kini also involved herself in extra-curricular activities like badminton, and NSS. She was adjudged the best outgoing student in the college when she completed her MBBS.In the year 1982, Dr. Kini received a prestigious research fellowship from CSIR and obtained a DCH degree from Mangalore University in 1984.

From 1986 till her retirement, Dr. Kini served in various medical posts in the pediatrics department of KMC, Manipal. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Pediatrics Professor several times including in 1996, 2012, 2015, and 2018. She is also a life member of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics and the National Neonatal Forum. She was also a member of the committees of Team NHA India and ICMR Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

Innovative farmer, Amai Mahalinga Naik

Padma Shri recipient, Amai Mahalinga Naik is a phenomenon in rural Dakshina Kannada. Born nearly seven decades ago in the backward hilly area of Amai in Kepu village, Mahalinga Naik struggled with no education and no land of his own. Losing his father at an early age, the responsibility of the family fell on his shoulders.

It was Naik’s dream to grow an areca nut grove but faced the challenge of watering a barren hilly tract of land. With the little money he had saved, he could not hope to hire workers for digging. He chose to dig up a tunnel himself, guided all by instinct. For four years, Naik dug up tunnel after tunnel until he found water. Naik’s efforts to irrigate his areca nut fields on his farm atop a rocky hill earned him the moniker “Tunnel Man”.


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