A couple of weeks ago, Sujai Karampuri had a rant about the pathological side of awards doled out by Indian industry, colleges and universities. In his list of pathologies, one thing is curiously missing: judges giving awards to themselves!
A recent example is the 'prestigious' Economic Times Awards for Corporate Excellence; this year, two of the jury members were also among the eventual award winners! These two eminent worthies are: N.R. Narayana Murthy (winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, and co-chair of the jury) and Aviation Minister Praful Patel (winner of the Business Reformer Award).
The accompanying reports try very hard to paper over this bad practice (which, I believe, is not the first for ET, and may not even be unique to it) by pointing out that the jury members who were also nominees recused themselves when their award categories were being discussed. Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- can hide the fact that this practice is ugly. I don't know if the judges knew before they agreed to be on the jury that they were among the nominees; if they did, I would say it is even more ugly.
Also, what does it say about the 'prestigious' ET awards sponsor when it's unable to put together an untainted jury?