For commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore, a National Committee (NC) was constituted under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister with 36 eminent personalities. The idea of instituting an award in Tagore’s name was raised in the first meeting of the NC held on 20th May, 2010. The NC authorized the National Implementation Committee (NIC) constituted under the Chairmanship of the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee to decide on its implementation.
The NIC met on 14th September, 2010 and approved the proposal for institution of awards and advised Ministry of Culture to work-out operational details including selection process which would be transparent and involve an eminent Jury. Thereafter discussions were held with experts and various cultural organizations and it was decided that since Tagore through his writings and other artistic creations contributed immensely for the promotion of universal brotherhood so award should be given for the promotion of Universal Brotherhood. It was decided that the nominations would be drawn globally and these may be sifted by the Selection Committee for final consideration by the Jury for the award. The amount of the award should be same i.e. Rupees One Crore as that for Gandhi Peace Prize and Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding. It is hoped that this award would foster international brotherhood as Tagore was one of the most passionate believers in Universal Peace and Brotherhood.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee while presenting the budget for the year 2011-12 made the following announcement regarding the Tagore Award:
“National celebrations of 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore will commence from May 7, 2011 in New Delhi. Important events will be held in several countries in Europe, America and Asia. A series of events are also proposed to be organized under the aegis of joint India-Bangladesh Celebrations Committee. An international award with prize money of Rs. 1.00 crore is being instituted for promoting values of Universal Brotherhood in the memory of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore”.
The Code of Procedure for the award has been worked-out by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the operational details have been finalized. The Code of Procedure has recently been put-on the website of Ministry of Culture.
Salient features of this award are as follows:
(i) It is to be given annually for promoting values of Universal Brotherhood.
(ii) It will carry an amount of Rs. 1.00 crore (convertible to foreign currency), a citation in a scroll, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom items.
(iii) It will be given to individuals, Associations, Institutions or Organizations.
(iv) Award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, languages, caste, creed or gender.
(v) Normally contributions made during ten years immediately preceding the nomination will be considered. Older contributions may also be considered if their significance has become apparent only recently. A written word, in order to be eligible for consideration should have been published during the last ten years.
(vi) The nominations are to be invited from various eminent persons and institutions every year in accordance with Code of Procedure by 31st August. For the first year nominations are being asked by 1st February, 2012.
(vii) Award to be given/announced every year on 7th May, the date of birth of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
It is being planned that the First Tagore award would be announced/given on 7th May, 2012 which is the day of the concluding ceremony of the commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore.