New Delhi: Former prime minister Manmohan Singh will receive the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development this year for his leadership of the country between 2004 and 2014 and for enhancing India's stature globally.
According to a statement from the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, Singh was unanimously chosen for the award by an international jury chaired by ex-president Pranab Mukherjee. "The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development is awarded to Manmohan Singh for his leadership of the country and his achievements during the momentous 10 years from 2004 to 2014, for his contributions to the cause of economic and social development, for improving India's stature in the world and its relationship with the neighbours and the leading nations of the world, and for his dedication to the security and well being of ordinary citizens regardless of their faith, caste, region or language," a statement from the Trust's secretary Suman Dubey said.
The Trust said Singh is only the third Indian prime minister to complete two full terms as the PM between 2004 and 2014. His tenure witnessed the path-breaking nuclear agreement with the US and the Copenhagen Climate Change agreement, the statement said. Singh, who as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India and the finance minister in the government headed by P V Narasimha Rao, played a pivotal role in ushering economic reforms, it said adding that as prime minister he led India in achieving the highest sustained rate of economic growth since Independence. The Trust said Singh has been responsible for making India's voice heard more effectively at international forums.
"The 10 years of his premiership were not only a period of rapid economic and social changes, they witnessed the lowest terrorist violence, prolonged period of communal harmony, peace on the country's borders and a globally acknowledged rise in India's standing in the global community of nations," the statement said.
The international award named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi was instituted in 1986. The award has been announced on the eve of Gandhi's birth anniversary, which falls tomorrow. The last two recipients have been the Indian Space Research Organisation and the UN High Commission for Refugees.