Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2014 for facilitating socio-economic transformation through space-based applications.
A jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision on Friday evening.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an organisation of government of India, is engaged in programmes that provide the nation with space-based services and development of technologies to achieve the same, thereby making space technology a catalyst of development to bring about societal transformation.
''Through the years, ISRO has upheld its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man and in the service of the nation. In the process it has become one of the six largest space agencies of the world,'' an official release said
''ISRO contributes to the nation's development through satellite based education, health care and connectivity to community activities for sustainable economic development.
''Besides this, ISRO through space technology has allowed for improved mapping of agricultural land and water-shed areas, providing advisories to fishing communities, giving information support for decentralised planning, creating data base of heritage sites, better climate and disaster management support and promoting a knowledge based society, which has led to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence,'' the release noted.
ISRO also has through tele-medicine, one of the communication technology applications, has enhanced the healthcare services delivery, wherein a satellite tele-medicine network through INSAT system links the rural hospitals in the country with specialty hospitals to enable the rural populace to access the specialist medical consultations.
Similarly, tele-education has demonstrated the unique capability of satellites in virtually taking the best teachers in the country to teach students in the rural villages.
The Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation through non-violence was instituted in the year 1995. The award comprises an amount of Rs1 crore and a citation.
The previous awardees include Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Julius K Nyerere, Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan and Ramkrishna Mission.
The other members of the jury are Chief Justice of India Justice HL Dattu, leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, BJP veteran and Lok sabha member L.K Advani, and Gopalkrishna Gandhi.