Dr Prannoy Roy, India’s best know TV ‘anchorman’ and pioneer of Indian news television, will be awarded Doctor of Letters for his contribution to journalism and media. (Friday 12 July, 2013).
Known for his ability to land interviews with political personalities and celebrities, his interviewing style is firm but never rude. Among the global leaders and heads of state that he has interviewed are Boris Yeltsin, Bill Gates, Tony Blair, David Cameron, Colin Powell, Parvez Musharraf, the Dalai Lama, Amartya Sen, and stars like Richard Gere and Aamir Khan.
Graduating with first-class honours from Queen Mary, University of London, Roy then went on to earn a PhD from the Delhi School of Economics (DSE). As well as winning several prestigious academic awards in the UK, including a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship, he has been an economic advisor to the Indian Finance Ministry, and an Associate Professor at the DSE, where he developed a macro-econometric forecasting model for the Indian economy.
But Dr Roy’s heart has been with the television industry since 1984 when he launched a television production house called New Delhi Television (NDTV) with his wife Radhika, a journalist. Trained in political science, Dr Roy debuted in the focus of televised coverage of India’s general elections. His predictions proved to be uncannily accurate, but it was his ability to translate complicated facts into simple analysis that turned him into the journalist that India would rely upon, night after night, for its news. Since then he has presented thousands of hours of news, live coverage of elections and the government’s annual budgets, including on India’s national television network Doordarshan and as lead anchor for BBC World’s Question Time India.
In addition to winning numerous international and national awards for his programmes, he has been adjudged the ‘Television Personality of the Millennium’ by the Indian Express poll and has contributed to various national and international publications.
From the ground-breaking The World This Week (nominated one of India’s five best television programmes since independence) to the first private news on Doordarshan’s The News Tonight, and producing India’s first 24-hour news channel, Dr Roy and Radhika have taken NDTV to the forefront of every news revolution.
NDTV today has expanded into a multiple-channel network with some of the most-watched news and lifestyle channels. NDTV 24x7 is the only English-speaking Indian news channel broadcast to reach out to the Indian diaspora in the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius and beyond.
Over the years, Dr Roy has been aware of the need to focus on a number of social issues through innovative corporate social responsibility campaigns like the ‘Greenathon’, ‘7 Wonders of India’ and the ‘Save Our Tigers’ campaign. All of these have garnered public support and represent a commendable attempt to preserve the environment and India’s natural heritage.
In 2010 and 2011, he spearheaded the ‘Support My School’ and ‘Marks for Sports’ campaigns in the field of education. The ‘Jeene ki Aasha’ campaign, which focuses on maternal and childcare issues around the country, was launched in 2011 with the Gates Foundation, and its impact has already been felt with some improvement in healthcare. Dr Roy strongly feels that deserving people from all walks of life need to be honoured, which he does with the ‘Indian of The Year’ awards.