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The Award was instituted by Government of India to be given annually for outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and friendship among the peoples of the world. The Award is administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The Award carries prize money of 1 crore besides a trophy and citation. (convertible into foreign currency). The Award is made by a Jury appointed by Government of India for this purpose. The Jury consists of seven eminent Indians including Vice President of India, Chief Justice of India who are ex-officio members. The Vice President is the Chairman of the Jury.

The previous recipients of the Award are U Thant (1965), Martin Luther King Jr (1966-presented posthumously), Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1967), Yehudi Menuhin (1968), Mother Teresa (1969), Kenneth D. Kaunda (1970), Josip Broz Tito (1971), Andre Mairaux (1972), Julius k. Nyerere (1973), Raul Prebisch (1974), Jonas Salk (1975), Giuseppe Tucci (1976), Tulsi Meherji Shrestha (1977), Nichidatsu Fujli (1978), Nelson Mandela (1979), Barbara Ward (1980), Alva and Gunnar Myrdal (jointly-1981), Leopold Sedar Senghor (1982), Bruno Kreisky (1983), Indira Gandhi (1984-posthumously), Olaf Palme (1985-posthumously), 1986 (not awarded), Javier Perez de Cueller (1987), Yasser Arafat (1988), Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1989), Helmut Kohl (1990), Aruna Asaf Ali (1991), Maurice F.Strong (1992), Aung San Suu Kyi (1993), Mahatir bin Mohammad (1994), Hosni Mubarak (1995), Goh Chok Tong (2003), Sultan Qaboos Bin Said al Said (2004), Wangari Muta Maathai (2005), Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2006), Olafur Ragnar Grimsson of Iceland (2007) and Dr. (Mrs.) Angela Dorothea Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (2009).  No awards were given in 1986 and during the years 1996 to 2002.

2009 Award

The Jury of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding chaired by Hon’ble Vice-President of India Shri Mohmmad Hamid Ansari has decided to confer the Award for the year 2009 on Dr. (Mrs.) Angela Dorothea Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. By honouring Chancellor Markel with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for the year 2009, India recognizes her personal devotion and enormous efforts for sustainable and equitable development, for good governance and understanding and for the creation of a world better positioned to handle the emerging challenges of the 21st century.

She has been sympathetic to developing countries and our own developmental imperatives and has led the search for a balanced solution based on principles of equity and sensitivity to the interests of the developing world.



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