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Acknowledging the Meritorious

The whole country is more or less under a lockdown due to the second wave of COVID-19. We had one year to ramp up our health care effort but we seem to have fallen well short of the aim and people are dying owing to an alarming lack of hospital beds, oxygen, and medicines. The visuals of people dying while waiting for a hospital bed and of the massive queues for burial and cremation are frightening.

The automobile industry has once again come forward to help, with manufacturers calling a halt to regular production to make oxygen. This is a request to everybody to come together and fight this pandemic in every way possible.

It was in the nick of time that we were able to conduct the jury round for the annual Car India Awards and present the trophies to the winners before the end of March. Every year we get the same query as to the criteria for a car to become the Automobile of the Year. Firstly, it has to be an all-new car or SUV. Secondly, it has to raise the bar in its own segment; in short, cars and SUVs do not go head-to-head against one another for these Awards. What is taken into consideration is how a car or an SUV fares vis-à-vis the other cars or SUVs in its own segment. Besides, they need to be accessible to the masses: it would be very easy to adjudge the Audi A8 the winner of the Automobile of the Year Award.

This year the standout car was the Hyundai i20. It raises the bar as compared to the other hatchbacks in the country on offer at the moment. The other strong contenders were the Kia Sonet and the Mahindra Thar.

Once again, I would urge you to take care and stay safe and healthy.


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