It was rumour that was talked about in the missosology world but the Times of India officially announced today that the Miss Universe franchise is indeed back to where it used to be. The last Miss Universe India with the Times at the helm is Ekta Choudhary (pictured).
Here's the official announcement:
The Times of India Group has bagged the franchise rights for the Miss Universe pageant in India. An agreement to this effect was recently signed at the Miss Universe headquarters in New York.
Speaking on the occasion, Times Group MD Vineet Jain, said, "It is important that the Miss Universe pageant is back once again with the Times Group. The Miss Universe pageant forms an integral part of the Miss India pageant structure."
The Miss India Universe pageant will be produced in isolation as a stand-alone contest end of June to choose a winner who will represent India at the Miss Universe pageant.
Marc Robinson, Director Operations, Miss India, added, "Miss Universe is back where it rightfully belongs, with The Times Group. It is the oldest and most credible organisation in India capable of conducting and producing pageants on an international level, while keeping in mind international pageant requirements and standards. Both Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta rose to fame after winning the Miss India, and subsequently the Miss Universe titles, in the years 1994 and 2000, respectively."