Gujarat watershed programme wins PM's award for administrative excellence

The Participatory Scientific Watershed Management programme in Patan district, the ancient capital of Gujarat, has received the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration for 2010-11 in the organisation category.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh presented the award to Ram Kumar, chief executive of the Gujarat State Watershed Management Agency (GSWMA), in New Delhi today.

GSWMA is the nodal agency for implementation of the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) in the state, which aims to restore the ecological balance by harnessing, conserving and developing degraded natural resources such as soil, vegetative cover and water, an official release said.

The Integrated Watershed Management Programme, with an outlay of Rs2,770 crore, covered an area of 21.34 lakh hectares in the state, Kumar said.

He said the watershed programme included livelihood activities in order to extend benefits to landless and asset-less people of the project area as well.

The award carries a prize money of a Rs5 lakh per organisation and Rs1 lakh per individual. All officers of the central and state governments individually or as group or as organisation are eligible for it. The award includes a medal, scroll and a cash amount.

This time, four outstanding initiatives in three categories – individual, group and organisation - have been selected for the award. Of these the one in the individual category was for ''Rendering selfless service to evacuate Indian Nationals amid Civil War in Libya.''

In the group category, the awards were given to Village Health and Nutrition Day in Complete Convergence Mode (Tripura) and for the conduct of panchayat elections (Jammu and Kashmir).