Nagrik Dialogue

Deepak Khanna- First Indian to receive Highest Civilian Honor in the Republic of Vanuatu

The Republic of Vanuatu, a Pacific Island nation, a close neighbor to Australia has conferred its highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Honor to Mr. Deepak Khanna for his contribution in the field of Vanuatu’s media and telecommunications.

The Vanuatu Prime Minister, also the Minister of ICT and Telecommunication, Hon. Bob Loughman Weibur himself recommended Deepak Khanna to receive the Vanuatu President’s Medal of Honor. The President His Excellency Tallis Obed Moses during Vanuatu 41st Independence Day celebration on the 30th of July 2021 conferred Mr. Khanna, the first Indian to receive the highest civilian honor ever in Vanuatu.

Deepak Khanna moved to the Pacific over a decade ago. He served in several countries including Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Nauru before becoming the CEO of Digicel Vanuatu Ltd, a mobile operator from August 2019 until March 2021. 

The Vanuatu Government recognized and appreciated Mr. Khanna’s great contribution, and efforts in providing vital assistance to the victims of the TC Harold Category 5 cyclone that destroyed most of the northern islands of Vanuatu in April 2020. The initiative shown especially to restore connectivity of the Northern Islands region with the rest of the world was extremely creditable worked by him and his team.

The Vanuatu Government also acknowledged his help to ensure that medical aid was received in all affected areas post TC Harold despite the COVID pandemic and the lockdown of the borders. He coordinated every assistance required in a state of emergency by flying in a helicopter which in addition also aided in restoring the telecommunication connectivity in record time without any external help.

The Vanuatu Government also acknowledged his great contribution in achieving another significant milestone whereby he has been able to integrate the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation into the Digital era by ensuring the availability of Television and Radio to everyone on their Digicel phones across the country. Hon. PM Bob Loughman Weibur acknowledged this as he stated that this is indeed a milestone for the country of Vanuatu and its people. He believes it to be a significant contribution since it   now helps the Government maintain the unity link with its people across the country and thereby, thank Mr. Khanna for his extensive contribution to the ICT and Telecommunication sector of the country.

Mr. Deepak Khanna currently runs operations in Samoa as the CEO of Digicel Vanuatu Ltd, a mobile operator which has its operation spread across the Pacific and Caribbean nations.

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