Rajendra Singh of Clemson University received a 2019 Hind Rattan Award, an honor that goes to natives of India who are now living elsewhere.
Singh, the D. Houser Banks Professor of Electrical Engineering, accepted the award in a Jan. 25 ceremony in New Delhi. The award was presented by Bibek Debroy, chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The award comes from the NRI Welfare Society of India, an organization that was started to strengthen emotional bonds between India and non-resident Indians. The award is “presented to NRIs in recognition of their outstanding services, achievements and contributions in their respective fields,” according to the society.
Singh said that it is special to receive an award from the country where he was born and still has strong ties.
“That was the highlight of my life,” Singh said. “If I die tomorrow, I’ll say, ‘I was very happy with my life.’ That’s the kind of feeling I have with this award.”
Singh left India in 1973, has lived in the United States since 1979 and joined Clemson in 1991. He has served as a visionary leader in photovoltaic and semiconductor technology.
Hind Rattan is a Hindi phrase that translates in English to “Jewel of India.” For Singh, it’s among three honors and awards that he considers very special in a career full of them.
Another is the Distinguished Alumni Award he won in 2005 from McMaster University in Canada, where he received his Ph.D. And in 2014, the White House under former President Barack Obama named Singh a “Champion of Change” for his leadership in advancing solar energy with photovoltaics technology.
Daniel Noneaker, chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, congratulated Singh on his latest award.
“Dr. Singh has served at Clemson with distinction for 28 years,” Noneaker said. “The Hind Rattan Award is well deserved and a fitting tribute to an accomplished career.”
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