The MP Birla Puja Utkarsh Samman has a rare distinction from the other Durga Puja awards because of the Pujas being judged by school students since the past 20 years. Around 40 student-judges, this year, visited more than 100 short-listed Pujas in and around Kolkata on 3 October which was Panchami.
The selectors, 32 students from South Point High School and eight from M P Birla Higher Secondary School visited the pandals in 10 groups for evaluation. The young assessors selected four Pujas, for the Best Idol, Best Pandal, Best Ambience and Puja with a Heart respectively. Also, four Appreciation Awards in the same categories have been announced. While the best idol was awarded to Tangra Gholpara Sarbojanin Durgotsav, best pandal was given to Sikdar Bagan Sadharan Durgotsov.
The winner of the best award was the Gouriberia Sarbjanin Durgotsab-O-C.I. Park, and Puja With A Heart award was given to Baghajatin Vivekananda Milan Sangha. Additionally, an Appreciation certificate for Best Idol was given to Barisha Club, for Best Pandal was given to Tala Park Prattay. Best Ambience certificate was given to Samilita Lalabagan while a certificate for Puja With A Heart was given to Bhowanipur 75 Palli.