Jawahar Lal Sarin conferred "Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur" [fr]
France’s highest civilian honour was bestowed on Mr Sarin in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enhancing Indo-French cultural cooperation and promoting the French language.
New Delhi, 9 November 2018
On behalf of the President of the French Republic, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Alexandre Zeigler, today conferred the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) on Mr Jawahar Lal Sarin, President of the Governing Body of the Alliance française de Delhi.
France’s highest civilian honour was bestowed on Mr Sarin in recognition of his outstanding contribution to enhancing Indo-French cultural cooperation and promoting the French language. The investiture ceremony held at the Residence of France was attended, among others, by eminent painter Anjolie Ela Menon and renowned art historian and curator Alka Pande.
Born in Lahore in 1943, Mr Jawahar Lal Sarin studied French for five years at Punjab University, Chandigarh, and later at the Sorbonne University, Paris. He also attended an eighteen-month training course at the International Institute of Public Administration, Paris, from July 1975 to December 1976.
He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1967 and held various important posts in the Government of Punjab as well as the Government of India. From May 1986 to December 1998, he worked in the African Development Bank, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, first as Chief of Recruitment and later as Director of Human Resource.
After retiring from the Bank, he returned to India and engaged in voluntary work for the Alliance Française de Delhi. He has been a member of its Governing Body continuously since 2002, and has just completed his second term as its President. During this period he contributed towards making it a lively hub of Indo-French cultural activities. In terms of number of students, it now figures among the five largest Alliances in the world.
Mr Sarin is also the Founder-Chairman of the Multicultural Education Trust, which provides valuable technical assistance and advice to the Lycée Francais International de Delhi to ensure that it is administered in full compliance with Indian laws.
The Legion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour), instituted in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest civilian award given by the French Republic for outstanding service to France, regardless of the nationality of the recipient. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.