Highlights

  • King Charles III’s 2024 New Year Honours
  • British Sikh doctor has been knighted
  • He is ex head of top Britian's medical body

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King Charles III’s 2024 New Year Honours: British Sikh doctor knighted

Professor Pali Hungin, as he is known, was the founding Dean of Medicine at Durham University and a former president of the British Medical Association

King Charles III’s 2024 New Year Honours: British Sikh doctor knighted

A British Sikh senior medical professional with over 30 years of general practice (GP) experience has been knighted by King Charles III in the 2024 New Year Honours list, which includes honours for members of the England women’s football squad and charity workers.

Dr Amritpal Singh Hungin, Emeritus Professor of General Practice at Newcastle University, receives a Knighthood for services to medicine on a list released in London on Friday night, including nearly 30 Indian-origin healthcare professionals, philanthropists and community activists honoured for their selfless service to society.

Professor Pali Hungin, as he is known, was the founding Dean of Medicine at Durham University and a former president of the British Medical Association (BMA).

“The New Year’s Honours List recognises the exceptional achievements of people across the country and those who have shown the highest commitment to selflessness and compassion,” said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“To all honourees, you are the pride of this country and an inspiration to us all,” he said.

The list, released annually by the government's Cabinet Office in the name of the British monarch, includes Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBEs) for Staffordshire GP Dr Chandra Mohan Kanneganti for services to General Practice and Senior Clinical Fellow of Imperial College London Dr Mala Rao for services to public Health, the National Health Service (NHS), and to equality and diversity.

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Also receiving the prestigious CBE honour is Bidesh Sarkar, Chief Financial Officer at the Department for Business and Trade, for public service.

“This year’s New Year Honours List celebrates the most selfless, compassionate people in the UK. I send them all my warmest congratulations for what they have achieved,” said UK Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden.

"Our historic honours system exists to recognise these people and shine a light on their heroic contributions and achievements. I hope that the inspiring stories from across the whole of the UK encourage more people to nominate others for an honour in future,” he said.

Among the British Indian Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBEs) include Baldev Parkash Bhardwaj for services to the community in Oldbury, West Midlands; Dr Dipankar Datta, Chair of the South Asia Voluntary Enterprise, for services to charity; Munir Patel, CEO of XRAIL Group, for services to rail exports; Dr Shriti Pattani, President of the Society of Occupational Medicine, for services to occupational health; Rajwinder Singh, Principal Project Sponsor of the Prison Infrastructure Team at the UK’s Ministry of Justice, for public service; Vinaichandra Guduguntla Venkatesham, CEO of Arsenal Football Club, for services to sport.

The Cabinet Office said more than 1,200 recipients have been awarded this year for their exceptional achievements, including Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs) conferred upon a cross-section including British Indians such as Dr Sanjay Bhandari, Chair of anti-racism charity Kick It Out for services to sport and Jayshree Rajkotia, Trustee and Vice Chair of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan UK, for services to Indian culture.

Other Indian-origin recipients of MBEs include: Tajinder Kaur Banwait for services to business and to the beauty industry; Dr Manav Bhavsar for services to healthcare, particularly during Covid-19; Nilesh Bhasker Dosa for services to social equality; Dr Dinendra Singh Gill for services to pre-hospital and trauma care in Wales; Dr Gian Parkash Gopal for services to the Hindu community and to multi-faith Cohesion in Oxfordshire; Jasdeep Hari Bhajan Singh Khalsa for charitable services to the Sikh community; Dr Meenakshi Nagpaul for services to the NHS; and Satish Manilal Parmar for public service, among others.

Healthcare and charity work also dominates among the Indian-origin Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEMs) such as Chandra Shekhar Biyani for services to medical education and Harbaksh Singh Grewal for services to charity.

Among the other high honours for 2024, Hollywood filmmaker Ridley Scott is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the UK film industry and Welsh singer Shirley Bassey – made a Dame by the late Queen Elizabeth II – becomes the 64th living member of the Order of the Companion of Honour in recognition of her services to music.

“This is in recognition of Dame Shirley's remarkable career which has seen her sell more than 135 million records,” the Cabinet Office said.

“Individuals have been recognised for being dedicated community champions, role models in sport, pioneers in the arts, passionate health workers, and supporters of young people. The prime minister is committed to ensuring that honours are awarded to people across the whole of the UK, so that the honours system captures and celebrates the fantastic contribution of people throughout the country,” it added.

Of the total, 66 per cent of the recipients are people who have undertaken outstanding work in their communities either in a voluntary or paid capacity and 48 per cent are women.

The sports stars honoured include England captain at the football World Cup Millie Bright is appointed an OBE, while Mary Earps and Lauren Hemp become MBEs. Former England cricketer Stuart Broad, who retired after the Ashes in July, has been appointed a CBE.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) for conducting King Charles' coronation service. This award is selected independently by the King.


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