The first-ever India Human Development Awards Manav Vikas were announced in New Delhi. Kottayam in Kerala, Khargone in Madhya Pradesh; Udupi in Karnataka and Malda in West Bengal have been recognized for excellence in the quality of Human Development Reports for their districts. The overall award for excellence went to West Bengal with two districts amongst the eight finalists.
The Manav Vikas India Human Development Awards, instituted by the Planning Commission and UNDP, celebrate achievements in Human Development Reports and, encourage excellence in data, analysis and ideas; and advocacy for human development. The Awards are a reminder of the critical need to continue to focus on people as the centre of development processes. The inaugural Awards focus on excellence in District Human Development Reports (DHDRs).
Commending India for one of the largest bodies of work on human development, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator said, "India has had an incredible journey on human development reporting, with reports being prepared at decentralized levels of governance. It also shows that a critical mass of human development champions have been developed in the country that can help in improving the quality of life."
The awards were presented by Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission and Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator in the presence of Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India who is also a member of the eminent jury for the Awards.
India has pioneered the practice of preparing independent sub-national human development reports (HDRs) that translate the human development approach to practical and actionable strategies at state and district levels, inspired by the concept first introduced by UNDP in 1990 through the annual global human development reports.
The Awards recognize outstanding contributions across India's District Human Development Reports in 4 categories. The winners are:
-- Award for participatory processes of preparation: Kottayam, Kerala
-- Award for quality of analysis: Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
-- Award for focus on gender and inclusion issues: Malda , West Bengal
-- Award for focus on innovation in measurement: Udupi, Karnataka
In addition, West Bengal received an Award for Overall Excellence at State Level
Other finalists included: North 24 Parganas, West Bengal; Bijapur, Karnataka; Hooghly, West Bengal.
An eminent jury reviewed the final shortlist of participants. Jury members included: Ela Bhatt, founder, Self-Employed Women's Association; Khalid Malik, Head of the Human Development Reports Office, UNDP; Lalita Panicker, Senior Associate Editor, Hindustan Times; Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India; and M.S. Swaminathan, Founder, MSSRF and Member, Rajya Sabha.
Across India, 44 district reports from eight states released till 2011, were eligible for consideration. These states are - Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
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