Miss India USA Pageant, in its 22nd year, selected the winner on August 24 at a glitzy gala at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Center in Edison. N.J. Twenty-four contestants vied for the title before an audience of nearly 500.


Meghna Nagarajan from Georgia was crowned Miss India USA 2003, Rekha Mudaraj from Arizona was the first runner up and Sabrina Dhammi from New York the second runner-up.


Miss India USA Pageant started in 1982, and is produced by Indian Festival Committee. The other two of the five finalists were Anjali Bhardwaj of New York and Sheena Patel of Massachussetts. Niteen Group of Hotels was the exclusive presenter of the pageant in cooperation with Air-India, Maaza, and ITV, a press release said.


Nagajaran, 19, is in her second year at Georgia Tech and her hobbies include singing, dancing, and reading. She plans to pursue a career in electrical engineering and also wants to do MBA.


Nagajaran also won the best talent concert where she sang the famous song "Choli Ke Peeche" in two different voices of Alka Yagnik and iLa Arun. As Miss India USA Nagajaran is to represent U.S.A in the upcoming Miss India World-wide to be held on Sept. 27 in San Fransisco, Calif. She will compete with 30 other contestants from across the world for the title of Miss India Worldwide.


At the show, Dhamangi Bhatia did the tabulation. Kalanji Satrangi, Arya Dance Academy, Teena Sukharam group and Saurabh Jain presented entertainment for the evening.


Other contestants and winners:

MISS SUPERMODEL IN STYLE - Rekha Muddaraj, Arizona

MISS PHOTOGENIC - Rohini Jain, Georgia

MISS BEAUTIFUL HAIR Palvi Waghela, Texas


MISS CONGENIALITY - Kashish Chopra, Massachussetts.