Who: Indian-origin cancer researcher Harpal Singh Kumar
What: Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
When: 31 December 2015
An Indian-origin cancer research expert Harpal Singh Kumar on 31 December 2015 received a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his influential work on prevention and treatment of cancer.
Singh’s name appeared in the annual New Year’s Honours list that includes several other Indian-origin individuals.
On the other hand, Samir Desai, founder-CEO of Funding Circle, received a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his work in the field of financial inclusion. Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd, Raminder Singh Ranger, was awarded a CBE for services to business and community cohesion.
Among the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) list were Kala Patel, managing director of Kiddycare Ltd Nurseries, for services to childcare business and Daljit Lally, deputy chief executive of Northumberland Country Council, for services to integrated care.
Aatin Ashok Anadkat, managing director of Hotel Maiyango in Leicester, was awarded with a British Empire Medal for services to entrepreneurship.
Besides, Rekha Mehr, founder of Indian sweets inspired bakery Pistachio Rose, received Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to entrepreneurship and enterprise.Ayesha Hazarika, chief of staff to the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, received MBE for political service.
Who is Harpal Singh Kumar?
• Harpal Singh Kumar was born in 1965.
• His parents fled to India from Pakistan during partition and later moved to Britain.
• Kumar attended St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, where he obtained an MEng degree and an MA degree and won the Mobil Prize, Metal Box Prize, and Hughes Prize.
• He subsequently obtained an MBA degree with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School where he won the Ford Prize and the Wolfe Prize.
• After graduation, he was employed by McKinsey and Co. as a healthcare consultant.
• In 1992, he was appointed chief executive of the disability charity the Papworth Trust.
• In 1997, he founded Nexan Group, a venture capital-backed medical devices company.
• In 2002, he joined Cancer Research Technology Limited as chief executive and became chief operating officer of Cancer Research UK in 2004. He became chief executive officer in April 2007.
• He is also a trustee of the Francis Crick Institute and the Institute for Cancer Research.
• He is the chairman of the Board of the National Cancer Research Institute.
• He is also chairman of the Cancer Outcomes Strategy Advisory Group in England and co-chair of the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative.
• A knighthood is one of the highest honours an individual in the United Kingdom can achieve.
• A knighthood cannot be bought and it carries no military obligations to the Sovereign.
• The Queen or a member of the Royal Family acting on her behalf confers knighthoods in Britain, either at a public investiture or privately.
• The ceremony involves the ceremonial dubbing of the knight by The Queen and the presentation of insignia.