Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the government would institute an international award named after Rabindranath Tagore in recognition of his contributions towards promotion of global brotherhood.
Speaking at a function to commemorate Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary, Singh said the award would be bestowed annually on a public figure whose life and work epitomised the ideals Tagore stood for. The jury will be headed by the PM. Bangladesh is overseeing the joint celebrations of Tagore’s birth anniversary.
“We hope to present the first award by the end of this commemoration period,” Singh said, at the function attended by several dignitaries, including Bangladesh’s planning minister Air Vice-Marshal AK Khandker (retd), UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The PM said several projects had been undertaken, as part of the commemoration to preserve the Nobel laureate’s works and make it more accessible to a wider audience. A digital collection of Tagore’s paintings ‘Rabindra Chitravali’ was released on Saturday, along with archival material on celluloid with subtitles in English.
Singh said the government had set aside R95 crore for the revival of Viswa Bharati University, set up by Tagore. The PM, who is the Chancellor of the university, said, “Viswa Bharati should rightfully be one of the crown jewels of our academic world. But a lot of work needs to be done to restore this institution to its former glory.”