France's Minister for Europe & Foreign Affairs (Miss) Catherine Colonna conferred the 'Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) on scientist-industrialist Dr Swati Piramal, Vice-Chairperson of the Piramal Group, here on Friday, officials said.
The highest French civilian award is in recognition of "Dr Piramal's outstanding achievements and contributions in the fields of business and industry, science, medicine, arts and culture, both nationally and internationally", and was conferred on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Earlier, in 2006, she was awarded France's second-highest civilian honour, the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Merite (Knight of the Order of Merit).
Ranked among India's leading scientists and corporate leaders, Dr Piramal's contribution to innovations, new medicines and public health has touched many lives, besides playing a prominent role in encouraging business and industry, innovations, arts and culture between India-France.
In her investiture remarks Colonna recalled Dr Piramal's services both to healthcare and industry, women and public policy and how France recognises her at the highest level as a true friend and driving force to enhance relations between two countries in different sectors.
Accepting the honour, Dr Piramal said she was humbled by the honour and termed it a recognitio of the efforts of all her colleagues in the Piramal Group, which has a long relationship with France.
Honoured with a Padma Shri, Dr Piramal has championed the cause of women's leadership, developed frameworks and policies to support women in top roles, served as Member of Prime Minister of India Trade Advisory Council, the Scientific Advisory Council, and currently is on the Harvard Global Advisory Council, besides many other activities as the Director of Piramal Foundation.
Incidentally, the Piramal Museum of Art in Mumbai is currently hosting the 'Science Beyond Borders' exhibition this month, curated by the French Institute in India and its partners, showcasing the rich history of scientific cooperation between the two countries.
The expo is part of 'Bonjour India 2022' - major cultural-artistic fest organised by France as part of India's 75th Anniversary of Independence and 75 years of diplomatic relations between India-France.
The Legion of Honour award - created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 - is conferred by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipients, and the President of France is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.