Kolkata, April 23, 2014 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, today announced the winner of the second Merck-Tagore Award in India, building on its heritage of sponsoring local literature prizes around the world and underscoring the company’s commitment to bridging the worlds of business and culture across borders.

The winner of this year’s Merck-Tagore Award, which is granted every two years to a person who has made distinctive contributions in promoting cultural exchange between India and Germany, is Professor. Pramod Talgeri, Vice-Chancellor at the India International Multiversity. The jury comprised a representative each of the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan India, the German Federal Foreign Office and Merck Limited (India).

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, introduced the Merck-Tagore Award two years ago in honor of Rabindranath Tagore, the internationally renowned Indian poet, philosopher and musician. The association between Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Tagore goes back to one of its family members, Elisabeth Wolff-Merck, who translated the play ‘Chitra’ by Rabindranath Tagore into German. Her husband Kurt Wolff owned the Kurt Wolff Verlag, which started publishing Tagore’s works in 1914, making the writer known in Germany. In all, Kurt Wolff published more than 20 Tagore volumes within 11 years (1914-1925) selling more than 1 million copies.

“We are proud to honor the cultural collaboration between India and Germany that was nurtured during the life and time of Tagore,” said Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Family Board and Executive Board of E. Merck KG, Darmstadt, Germany, the company that bundles the 70 percent stake in Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, that is owned by the Merck family. “The Merck family continues to have a keen interest in the rich heritage of these two countries and has strengthened its commitment to this cultural exchange.”

Professor Pramod Talgeri is an expert of German language and has contributed immensely to promoting the language at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the University, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (now EFLU), Hyderabad. He was recently renominated by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh as member of the newly reconstituted high level Indo-German Consultative Group for policy planning of bilateral relations between India and Germany.

The promotion of literature has a strong tradition at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and today spans multiple countries across the world. In addition to the Merck-Tagore Award the company once a year grants the Johann Heinrich Merck Award together with the German Academy for Language and Poetry in Germany as well as the Premio Letterario in Italy. Starting this year, the company will also award the Kakehashi literature prize in Japan, which will be granted every two years