Sudha Murty Nominated to Rajya Sabha on International Women’s Day

Sudha Murty Joins Rajya Sabha
Debra Martinez / 9:13 am / March 11, 2024

On International Women’s Day, philanthropist, engineer, and author Sudha Murty was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of parliament. This nomination fills the sole vacant seat reserved for individuals with distinguished backgrounds. The position had remained unfilled for over 21 months.

PM Modi Hails Murty’s Contributions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Ms. Murty’s nomination, praising her as a powerful symbol of India’s “Nari Shakti” (women’s power). He highlighted her immense and inspiring contributions across diverse fields, including social work, philanthropy, and education.

The Role of Nominated Members

The Indian Constitution allows the President to nominate twelve members to the Rajya Sabha in recognition of their expertise in literature, science, art, and social service. These nominations are made based on advice from the central government.

Seven of these nominated seats became vacant between April and May of 2022. The President subsequently filled five of these positions by nominating renowned figures such as athlete P.T. Usha, social worker D.V. Heggade, screenwriter-director V. Vijayendra Prasad, music composer Ilaiyaraaja, and engineer Gulam Ali. However, two vacancies remained unfilled.

Recent Nominations and Murty’s Reaction

President Droupadi Murmu nominated Punjab educationist Satnam Singh Sandhu in January 2024, leaving just one seat open. Sudha Murty’s nomination effectively fills this final vacancy.

Expressing surprise and delight at her nomination, Ms. Murty emphasized her commitment to serving the nation. She acknowledged the increased platform and responsibility associated with this new role, expressing a particular desire to empower those from underprivileged backgrounds. Ms. Murty, who is also the mother-in-law of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, highlighted her eagerness to learn and contribute as a member of the Rajya Sabha.

A Life Dedicated to Service

In a prepared statement, Ms. Murty expressed her deep gratitude for the nomination. She recognized the opportunity to serve the country and its people, acknowledging the profound impact both have had on her life. She further commended Prime Minister Modi’s recognition of “Nari Shakti” on International Women’s Day. Ms. Murty pledged to uphold the values instilled in her youth, emphasizing the importance of dedicating oneself to the service of others.

A Renowned Author and Social Advocate

A recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, Ms. Murty is a prolific author with over 30 books to her credit. Her literary achievements extend to winning the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar and the Padma Shri award in 2006. Following a dedicated 25-year tenure as chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, Ms. Murty retired in 2021, leaving behind a legacy of social service and philanthropy.

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