KCK- Stories

4th KC Kulish Award

Theme: Crusade Against Corruption

2 Winning Entry and 9 Awards of Merit

Awarded Story

Times of India, Chennai, Language-English

Team Leader- Ajitha Karthikeyan

Team Member - L.R. Shankar

Title of the story- Transfer of sensitive tech to new firm under a cloud


A front page story exposed the Director of SAMEER (an autonomus Institution for Research & Development under the Ministry of Communication and Information Techonology ) S.Karunakaran, who gave the contract of mass production of IRLM (a technology developed by the team of scientist of SAMEER meant for use in Akash missile pogramme by the ministry of Defense ) to a dubious firm owned by his friend P Rathinavel who was arrested in 2005 and facing a trial in Chennai court in connection with a software theft. The missile programme got delayed and the DRDO had to source the material from other avenues, thereby causing a loss to the exchequer.

Newspaper- The Pioneer, English

Team Leader- J Gopikrishnan

Team Members- Naveen Upadhyay

Title of the story- 2G Spectrum Scam


More than 200 articles written during 2008 to 2011 concentrated on the ill gotten wealth and hidden companies floated by former telecom minister A.Raja. The irregularities and the hidden tales behind the 2G Spectrum allocation to Shell companies and the people behind it were revealed. The Pioneer exposed the series of mid night communication between Raja and Prime Minister. In April 2010, Pioneer exposed the existence of Nira Radia tapes and hushing up of CBI probes by the Government and people in power.

The Pioneer also reported the illegality of the companies which were allotted licenses by Raja and exclusive reports through several series on the ramifications, violations and

blatant corruption in 2G Spectrum Scam.

Merit Awards

1. The New Crusading Guide, Ghana, Language- English

Team Leader- Anas Aremeyaw Anas

Team Members- Selase Kove-Seyram, Rahim Sinare

Title of the story- Hunting the Hunters


The story which started in Ghana, ended up impacting the world business market, leading to govt listening to the plight of hundreds of cocoa farmers who have kept the economy of Ghana running for decades. The story is about the chocolate- producing cocoa beans in the Ghanaian economy and measures taken by this team to help curb the loss of over 60,000 tonnes in Ghana's cocoa yields.The 6 months long investigations (carried out in western corridor of Ghana, where upto 60% of cocoa produced was smuggled out of the country) revealed with hard core audio visuals that initial joint exercises by the nation's security forces to crush the smuggling of cocoa across Ghana's Western borders into Cote d'lvoire was not successful because of collusion between the security officers and smugglers.

2. Periódico a.m. de León- Mexico,

Team Leader- José Raúl Olmos Castillo

Team Members- Arcelia Becerra Quiroz, Shayra Albañil Reyes, Antonio Lascuráin


Title of the story- Corruption in the bicentennial of the independence of Mexico


An investigative story in which the corrupt practices committed by the govt of the state of Guanajuato were revealed. The govt. gave contracts to building firms without bidding or tender, assigned many contracts to companies without abiding to what is established by the law. The govt. spent close to 2000 million pesos (142 million dollars) on “Expo Bicentenario”park, which was open to the public for only 7 months.

3. The Tribune, Chandigarh, Language-English

Team Leader- Chitleen K Sethi

Team Member - M.R. Dua

Title of the story- PPSC Recruitment Scam


A series of story exposed the manner of recruitment in Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), how PPSC changed the recruitment process and recruited 312 doctors in 2009. Below average candidates who did their MBBS on paid seats were given preference, many of the selected were found to be close relatives of judges politicians and meritocrats. PPSC did not disclose about extra marks on social work certificates attached with the application. Only selected candidates had attached social work certificates which showed a possible leak-out of selection criterion to the preselected candidates. Many of these certificates were found fake.

4. Hindustan Times, Chandigarh, Language-English

Team Leader-Pawan Sharma

Team Members- Ramesh Vinayak, Vikram Deep Johal

Title of the story- Punjab's Diversification Rip-Off


In Feb 2006, Punjab govt launched what was billed to be the most ambitious diversification project by far to break the wheat-paddy logjam with the objective to lead the farmers to high-value agriculture. But even after spending over Rs. 80 crore, the much-touted project wilted and turned out to be a flourishing multi-crore scandal. Pilferage, forgeries, fake bills and unlawful expenditure derailed Punjab's crop diversification dream much before it could take off. A series of story dug deep into the matter and exposed the govt.

5. Bartman Patrika (Benagali Daily), Kolkata, Language- Bengali

Team Leader- Rantidev Sengupta

Team Member - Shidhat Shanker Sen

Title of the story- Mysterious death of the farmers in Rajerhat


The story peeps into the issue of land grabbing by local party leaders in Rajerhat area , West Bengal. With the help of armed hooligans local party leaders forcefully occupied the agricultural land. Nearly 50 farmers who opposed it went missing. Later during the inquiry it was found that 15 of them were murdered by hooligans. Police took no action. The story unearthed the mafia raj and corruption of local leaders.

6. Malyala Manorama, Kerala, Language- Malyalam

Team Leader- Mathews Varghese

Team Members- Sanjay Chandrasekhar, G. Vinod, Sunny Joseph, Arun Sreedhar

Title of the story- Durbhagyam ( Misfortune)


An investigative story gave an insight on the indulgence in lottery luck in Kerala which become second habit of the psyche of Keralites, especially the financially less fortunate. On an average Keralites spill out more than 715,000 crore on lottery luck every year. The lottery business became a source of income for govts which were always and ever on budget deficits. It revealed how the escalating gambelling tendency helped to paved a way for a new mafia in the state of Kerala.

7. Xpress,Gulf news- UAE, Language-English

Team Leader- Mazhar Farooqui

Team Member – Ador Bustane, Biplop Roy

Title of the story- I am an idiot, yet I am hired


An undercover story exposed the region's biggest recruitment racket. In UAE, for years the recruitment firms were fooling people and charging money for non existing jobs. Such placement companies would place false ads for non existing jobs in newspapers. Hundreds of job seekers were conned daily. The story unfolded the truth of such firms and blew the lid off the huge racket.

8. Nai Dunia, New Delhi, Language-Hindi

Team Leader- Deepak Rastogi

Team Members- Ashok Kinker, Debojyoti Chakraborty

Title of the story- Exposing land scam syndicate


After commencement of satellite township projects on eastern fringes of Kolkata, some land syndicate grabs around 57,000 Acre land between the year 2004 to 2010. Five consecutive stories exposed the scam. Modus operendi was calculated - fake documents were used, and the use of land was changed too. Involvement of ministers from West Bengal govt. industrialists, officials and local criminals were behind all of it. After a shoot-out incident in Vedic village, the team started investigation and came to know about 57,000 Acre land scam.

9. Indian Express, New Delhi, Language-English

Team Leader- P. Vaidyanathan Iyer

Team Members- P. Sidhantha, Johnson T.A, Sreenivas Janyala

Title of the story- The Independent Republic of Reddys


In-depth articles investigates into the mining empire of Reddy brothers that straddles Andhra and Karnataka, which strikes fear in rivals and is powered by a nexus of politicians and officials. The investigation exposed how they used and abused the gleaning loopholes in the regulatory apparatus. The story uncovers the nexus between politicians, miners and meritocrats in two states.


5th KC Kulish Award

Theme: Changemakers

5 Awards of Merit

1.Hindustan Times, Patna, Language- English

Team Leader- Arun Kumar

Team Members- Rakesh Singh, Shyamal Das

Title of the story- New MU VC under Vigilance scanner in Jharkhand


The controversy started in 2010 when two VCs were appointed by the Chancellor in Bihar. One of the VCs was tainted and had a vigilance probe pending against him in Jharkhand.The govt took it seriously and the matter generated a lot of heat. The appointments were challenged in the High Court. HT team carried a series of articles, exploring how lack of clarity in the act regarding appointment of the VCs and absence of provision for search committee was causing all the mess. The stories covered all the developments blow by blow, many of them have been used in the affidavits filed in the court.

2. The Times of India, Chandigarh, Language- English

Team Leader- Sukhbir Siwach

Team Members- Nitin Sethi, Deepender Deswal

Title of the story- Stories on Haryana's Whistleblower IFS officer


Series of stories since the harrasment of an IFS officer in Haryana began after he unerthed the irregularities in forest department. He made an adverse comment on top bureaucratsthe and CMO. Upon this he was falsely implicated and charsheeted. The whistleblower approached the President for which also he was further harassed but his struggle ultimately led to quashing of the fabricated chargesheet against him.

3. Hindustan, Allahabad, Language- Hindi

Team Leader- Daya Shanker Shukla Sagar

Team Members- Devendra Dev Shukla, Dheerendra Shukla

Title of the story- Andhe Dalit ka Dard ( Plight of a Blind Dalit)


Series of stories on plight of a visually impaired dalit who faced harshest of time after his wife died after delivering a baby, the new born died the next day and 5 yr old son soon after. They all die of hunger and malnutrition as they had no food to eat, and governemnt help and pension never ever reached to them, neither anyone cared. Govt officials tried to hush up the matter, showed that the deaths were not because of starvation but disease. After series of stories, the sufferer got his due and benefit of schemes and people helped him to get back his land also.

4. Dainik Amravati Mandal, Amravati, Language- Hindi

Team Leader- Jitendra Gulabrao Rode

Team Member - Ramesh Pandit

Title of the story- Irresponsibility squeezing Human Woes


Paratwada and Achalpur known as twin cities. There are 7 slum area in Paratwada and 20 slums in Achalpur where 56443 people live. In 2008 construction of 965 Gharkuls ( housing for poor) was proposed and sanctioned. Rs. 709.97 lakh were deposited with Municipal Board. But, due to the deadlock in sanctioning money for construction of Gharkuls thousands of families were facing hardships. In their huts they could hardly sleep. A series of stories about their plight led to govt decision to pass all the proposals and poor got their right to live in Gharkuls.

5. Central Chronicle, Raipur, Language- English

Team Leader- Dinesh Kumar

Team Members- Gitesh Dewangan, M.M. Rahul, Vaibhav Choubey, Dr. Vikas Singh

Title of the story- Irregularities plaguing the Enginnering Colleges in the state


Irregularities in engineering colleges could not be exposed despite police investigation which colluded with the high and mighty to hush up the matter. Parallel investigation by the newspaper team led to FIR and judicial inquiry into the matter and huge impact.

6th KCKulish Award

1 Winning Entry and 1 Award of Merit

Awarded Story

ICIJ, Language- English

Team Leader: Gerard Ryle

Team Members: Kate Willson (USA), Vlad Lavrov (Ukraine), Martina Keller (Germany), Thomas Maier (USA), Mar Cabra (Spain), Nari Kim (South Korea), William Venuti, Antonio Aldo Papaleo (Slovakia), Alexenia Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Michael Hudson (USA), Marina Walker Guevara, Kimberley Prteous, David Donald

Title of the story: Skin And Bone: The Shadowy Trade In Human Body Parts

    Summary- The Shadowy Trade In Human Body Parts was an eight-month project by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), a global network of reporters who collaborate on in-depth investigative stories that cross national boundaries. ICIJ found the business of recycling dead humans has grown so large over the past decade that you can buy stock in publicly traded companies that rely on corpses for their raw materials. Skin and Bones donated by relatives of the dead are turned into everything from bladder slings to surgical screws to material used in dentistry or plastic surgery. Distributors of the merchandise can be found in much of the world. Some are subsidiaries of billion-dollar multinational medical corporations.

ICIJ discovered that patients aren’t always told that the product they are getting originated from a corpse. This led to a more complex issue – how does the industry source the raw material it uses in its products?

Merit Award

Deshabhimani Daily, Tiruvanantpuram, Language- Malayalam
Team Leader: R Samban
Team Members: P R Deepthy, L V Johnson, S Praveen
Title of the story: Earth's battle with Greed


    A series of 21 articles deals with the hard realities of life in the dusty village of Kerala. The story is about the real estate developers and land mafias encroaching the lakes and paddy fields. It highlights Vellayani Kayal, a freshwater lake facing an imminent death because of encroachment and sand mining. Farming has become a burden in the regions of Vellanathuruthu and Ponmana. Poor rural folk had to sell their home and land (savings of their life time) as they were harrassed by the mafia.

    The Kerla government constituted a committee under chairmanship of district collector to protect Vellayani lake, steps were taken by the governemnt to protect the paddy fields, and the issue got public attention and environmental organizations also took up the issue.