Sixteen district magistrates will take centre stage Wednesday at The Indian Express Excellence in Governance Awards, a biennial event that celebrates the finest work done by the women and men at the forefront of governance and change across the country. The awards for outstanding work across 16 categories that range from Agriculture to Education and Technology to Women Development will be handed over by five Union ministers, who are special guests at the event. The winners have been chosen from 249 entries received from 84 districts in 24 states. The winning entries include projects like a cluster of solar panels installed on a hillock as an alternate energy source; a neo-natal unit in the heart of Maoist territory and an anti-corruption drive along the international border. The special guests are: Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport highways and and micro, small medium enterprises; Ram Vilas Paswan, Union minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution; Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union minister of law and justice, communications,electronics information technology; Piyush Goyal, Union minister for railways and commerce industry; and Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state (independent charge), development of northeastern region, minister of state in the PMO, ministry of personnel, public grievances pensions, and departments of atomic energy and space. An eminent jury, headed by former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha and comprising Wajahat Habibullah, former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities and the first Chief Information Commissioner of India, Nirupama Rao, India KPMG, the knowledge partner for the awards, conducted a thorough check on the parameters of innovation, impact, implementation and people participation for all the entries. The shortlist was then verified by reporters and editors of The Indian Express by field visits and an audit after which the jury chose the winners. These biennial awards are given to the most innovative solutions to governance challenges at the district level across the country and capture the widest range of what excellence in governance means – ideation, implementation and innovation. The categories include: Agriculture, Education, Health, Implementation of Central schemes, Technology, Women Development, Child Development, Inclusive Innovation, Agriculture, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Energy.