Two leading academics from the University of Salford have been honoured with awards from India.

Mohammed Arif, Professor of Sustainability and Process Management, was awarded the Hind Rattan Award by the NRI Welfare Society of India.

The Hind Rattan, translated from Hindi as Jewel of India, was bestowed for his ‘outstanding services, achievements and contributions for keeping the Flag of India high’ and is one of the highest Indian diasporic awards granted annually to non-resident Indians (NRIs).

The award will be officially presented at the Society's annual congress, held in conjunction with national Pravasi Bharatiya Divas celebrations on the eve of Indian republic day on 25 January in New Dehli.

Professor Arif, who is also the International Director of the College of Science and Technology, has been conducting research in the areas of sustainability, low cost housing, and research initiatives with a range of Indian universities and the Indian Green Building Council.

His current areas of research are green construction and offsite construction. He has been carrying out research work in India for the past 10 years, which has received particular praise from the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI), where his project on low cost housing was rated as one of the top 10 projects conducted under this initiative.

In addition, Prof Arif has initiated links and exchange programmes with both academia and industry from India. He continues to work on projects related to India.

Professor Arif said: “It’s a great privilege to receive this award and an honour to be recognised by my motherland for the work I have done. India does and will stay close to my heart in whatever I do. This award will energise me to further enhance my efforts and contribute to the prosperity of India. It will also motivate me to work on initiatives that contribute towards bringing India and UK closer together, leading to benefits for both the countries”

Also honoured by the NRI Welfare Society of India, was Dr Bhabani Shanker Nayak, a political economist and senior lecturer at Salford Business School, was honoured by the President at a special ceremony at the House of Lords.

To recognise the 145th anniversary of the birth of Muhatma Ghandi, he was one of just 30 Non Resident Indians (NRI) globally this year to have been awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA), the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians, by the NRI Welfare Society of India, an independent organisation under the umbrella of the Government of India.

Dr Nayak is primarily a political economist. He has 12 years of research and consultancy experience in different areas of political economy of development and eight years of teaching experience in different undergraduate and postgraduate courses. His research interests consist of four closely interrelated and mutually guiding programmes in: • Political economy of public policy, inequality and development; • Economy and religion in South Asia • Gender, faith, freedom, globalisation and governance; • Hindu modes of capitalist accumulation.

The regional focus of his research is on the impacts of neoliberalism on social, cultural and economic transition of indigenous communities in South Asia, India and Odisha. He is trying to locate the relationship between Hindu right wing forces, Hindu religion and global capitalism.

Dr Nayak said: “It’s a great honour to be chosen from Indians from all over the world. They chose me for my research over 10 years on India’s new Right to Food Act, which will help the poorest in society.”