On the beautiful evening of September 19, 1996, the mood was upbeat and the atmosphere full of an air of expectancy at the Regal Room, Oberoi Towers, as the glittering celebrations of Priyadarshni Academy's 12th Anniversary Awards Function got underway, in the presence of many distinguished dignitaries from India and abroad.

Lighting of the lamp by Mr. Manohar Joshi, Chief Minister, Maharashtra.

While Mr. Manohar Joshi, Chief Minister of Maharashtra was the Chief Guest for the evening, Mr. Gopinath Munde, Deputy Chief Minister, Maharashtra, presided over the Function. Guests of Honour Mr. Pramod Navalkar, Minister for Ports, Transport and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Anil Deshmukh, Minister of State for Education, Maharashtra, Mr. Subir K. Choudhary, Sheriff of Mumbai, Mr. Ramrao Adik, Smt. Prabha Rau, Mr. Nana Chudasama and Ms. Meenakshi Sheshadri lent their gracious presence to the Function. Special Guests of Honour, Mr. Srichand Hinduja, Chairman, The Hinduja Group, Mr. Hari N. Harilela, Chairman, The Harilela Group, had specially arrived in Mumbai to attend the function. The programme was compered by Ms. Sarita Sethi.

This year’s 'International Award for Educational Development' was presented to Dr. Sandra Linck, the provost of Mansfield University, USA, for her immense contribution to the cause of Global Education.

Our very special 'Life Time Achievement Award for Social Welfare' was posthumously bestowed on Smt. Meenatai Balasaheb Thackeray for her lifetime's dedicated efforts in the care for the poor and down-trodden sections of our society. The Award was received by her brother Mr. Chandrakant Vaidya.

In the literary Awards Category, Ms. Suryabala received the 'Mr. Kisharam Lekhraj Rupani Memorial Award for Hindi Literature., Mr. R.G. Jadhav was presented with 'R.B. Hotchand Hiranand Memorial Award for Marathi Literature' (sponsored by TIPS Cassettes & Records Co.) Prof. Lachman Hardwani was bestowed with "Prof. Ram Panjwani Memorial Award for Sindhi Language.' Each of the aforementioned Awards carried a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 15,000/-.

Mr. Pramod Navalkar was presented with 'Award of Outstanding Contribution to Investigative Journalism.

Mr. K. Padmanabhaiah was awarded the 'Public Service Award'. As he could not be present for the Ceremony to receive the same personally, the Award was presented to him on December 11, 1997 at his office at Home Secretariat, New Delhi.

Shri Pramod Navalkar, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Maharashtra receiving Priyadarshni's Award for Outstanding Contribution who investigated journalism from Shri Manohar Joshi.