The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award given by the Indian government to an individual or an organization/institution that uses nonviolent and other Gandhian methods to bring about social, political, and economic change.
On March 22, 2021, the Indian government declared that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020. (Father of Nation in Bangladesh.) Qaboos bin Said Al Said has been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2019. (Late Sultan of Oman.)
What is the Gandhi Peace Prize, and how does it work?
Every year, the Gandhi Peace Prize is given to one individual or organization. The awardee is decided by a jury consisting of the Prime Minister of India, the Chief Justice of India, the Leader of the Single Largest Opposition Party in the Lok Sabha, and two eminent members.
- The jury is selected for a three-year term.
- Permanent members of the jury are ex-officio members (PM, CJI), while eminent members resign. A reappointment is an option.
- PM is the jury's chairman. In his absence, the presiding officer is chosen by the remaining members of the jury.
- A judgment must be reached by a majority of the jury. Furthermore, no objections to the jury's decisions are permitted.
Who has the authority to suggest the Gandhi Peace Prize?
The jury has the authority to invite anyone to suggest the Gandhi Peace Prize if it so desires. Also, the following members have the authority to recommend the Gandhi Peace Prize:
- Jury former members
- Ex-Awardees of Gandhi Peace Prize
- Members of Indian Parliament
- Nobel Laureates for the last five years
- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General along with other leaders of international organizations. The purpose of such proposals is to promote peace, non-violence, the emancipation of less-privileged sections of society, tolerance, social harmony, and social justice.
- Universities Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors
- Heads of Indian Missions Abroad
- Heads of Institutions that are into studies and research in non-violence, and Gandhian principles.
- Lok Sabha/Legislative Assemblies & Councils presiding officers.
- Chief Ministers of states and UTs with administration, and Governors.
- Commonwealth Secretary-General
- Commonwealth Parliamentary Union
The Government of India recently amended the code of the procedure based on which the award is determined, allowing the jury to make nominations despite any breaches of the code.