The Congress has invited applications from individuals, religious and cultural bodies, ethnic groups and NGOs for the Indira Gandhi award for national integration for the year 2017-18. The award was instituted in 1985 by the Indian National Congress in its Centenary year.
The Award is for promoting national integration, understanding and fellowship amongst religious groups, communities, ethnic groups, cultures, languages, and traditions of India and also to strengthen through thought and action, nation's sense of solidarity.
The Award is given on Indira Gandhi's death anniversary, October 31. The Award carries citation and cash amount of Rs 10 lakh to be given either to a person or an institution for the outstanding contribution made to promote National Integration.
"Chairperson, Advisory Committee, Sonia Gandhi invites proposals for the said Award latest by August 31, 2019 in the prescribed proforma which may be obtained from its Office in AICC, 24, Akbar Road," a party statement said.
The earlier recipients of the award include Swami Ranganathananda, Aruna Asaf Ali, Bharat Scounts and Guides, P N Haksar, M S Subbulakshmi, Rajiv Gandhi (Posthumously) and former presidents Dr A P J Abdul Kalam and Shankar Dayal Sharma (Posthumously).
Others who have also won the award include Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust (Indore, Madhya Pradesh), Balraj Puri, A R Rehman and Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Narainpur, Chhattisgarh (jointly), Mohan Dharia, Gulzar, Dr M S Swaminathan and P V Rajagopal, besides Shyam Benegal and Javed Akhtar.
Paramdhan Ashram (Wardha, Maharashtra), Acharya Shree Tulsi Ji, Dr Bishamber Nath Pande, Beant Singh (Posthumously) and Natwar Thakkar (Jointly), Gandhi Institute of Public Affairs (Karnataka), Indira Gandhi Centre for National Integration (Shanti Niketan) have also been among the awardees.