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December 18, 2003

Tunku Varadarajan, Swati Dandekar, Kapil SharmaStarting August, India Abroad had invited the community -- through its columns, and on, which owns the newspaper -- to nominate names to be considered for the annual award.

Nominations closed October 27; on that date, the India Abroad team collated the incoming nominations and drew up a master list of 186 names, each complete with a dossier detailing their accomplishments. India Abroad editors scrutinised the nominations and came up with a shortlist of 12 names. These names, and the accompanying dossiers, were handed over to the jury at the conclusion of Balakrishnan's short presentation.

It was made clear to the jury that the shortlist was merely to facilitate discussion; it was not binding on the jury to pick only from within the 12 short-listed nominees. The jury, Balakrishnan clarified, was welcome to trawl through the full list of 186, and add names to the short list if required.

Once this had been clarified, Dandekar suggested to her peers on the jury that as phase one of the deliberations, they could scan through the shortlist and also the master list, briefly debating the various names.

At the end of the exercise, Dandekar said, the jury could individually list four suggested names; the ballots would then be tallied, three finalists would be picked on the basis of the most votes polled, and the final debate would seek to pick one deserving candidate from amongst this list.

The jury accepted her recommended procedure, after brief discussion.

Next: Deliberations, Phase I

Photograph: Paresh Gandhi

India Abroad Person of the Year: The complete coverage

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