First-ever India Human Development Awards Announced

14 Mar 2012

New Delhi - The first-ever India Human Development Awards Manav Vikas were announced in New Delhi today. Kottayam in Kerala, Khargone in Madhya Pradesh; Udupi in Karnataka and Malda in West Bengal have been recognized for excellence in the quality of Human Development Reports for their districts. The overall award for excellence went to West Bengal with two districts amongst the eight finalists.

The Manav Vikas India Human Development Awards, instituted by the Planning Commission and UNDP, celebrate achievements in Human Development Reports and, encourage excellence in data, analysis and ideas; and advocacy for human development. The Awards are a reminder of the critical need to continue to focus on people as the centre of development processes. The inaugural Awards focus on excellence in District Human Development Reports (DHDRs).

Commending India for one of the largest bodies of work on human development, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator said, “India has had an incredible journey on human development reporting, with reports being prepared at decentralized levels of governance. It also shows that a critical mass of human development champions have been developed in the country that can help in improving the quality of life.

The awards were presented by Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission; Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and jury members including Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India and M.S. Swaminathan, Founder, MSSRF.

India has pioneered the practice of preparing independent sub-national human development reports (HDRs) that translate the human development approach to practical and actionable strategies at state and district levels, inspired by the concept first introduced by UNDP in 1990 through the annual global human development reports.

The Awards recognize outstanding contributions across India’s District Human Development Reports in 4 categories. The winners are:

  • Award for participatory processes of preparation: Kottayam, Kerala
  • Award for quality of analysis:  Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
  • Award for focus on gender and inclusion issues: Malda , West Bengal
  • Award for focus on innovation in measurement: Udupi, Karnataka

In addition, West Bengal received an Award for Overall Excellence at State Level

Other finalists included: North 24 Parganas, West Bengal; Bijapur, Karnataka; Hooghly, West Bengal.   An eminent jury reviewed the final shortlist of participants. Jury members included: Ela Bhatt, founder, Self-Employed Women’s Association; Khalid Malik, Head of the Human Development Reports Office, UNDP; Lalita Panicker, Senior Associate Editor, Hindustan Times; Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India; and M.S. Swaminathan, Founder, MSSRF and Member, Rajya Sabha.

Across India, 44 district reports from eight states released till 2011, were eligible for consideration. These states are - Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

About UNDP

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. With offices in more than 160 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Contact Information

Surekha Subarwal – +91 9810153924; surekha.subarwal@undp.org

Nandita Surendran – +91 9810084776; nandita.surendran@undp.org

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About Helen Clark
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Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She also chairs the United Nations Development Group.

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