27 May : Disappearance of plant and animal communities due to ecological imbalance of the earth eco-system caused by over exploitation of natural resources has become a major causative factor for many environmental problems. Alarming environmental problems like global warming, ozone depletion, lowering of water table etc. have created environmental challenge for future survival of life. Reformatory, commendable works are being done at individual and organisational level in the country for restoration, conservation and protection of environmental. The late Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi had made remarkable contribution in the field of eco-restoration and prompted the concept of sustainable development by combining our age old conservation ethics with the modern scientific and technological advances and emphasised the link between conservation, peace and eradication of poverty.
In reverential memory of late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, in the year 1987, instituted an award called “Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar (IGPP)” to give recognition to those having made or have the potential to make the measurable and major impact in the protection of environment. In the beginning, a cash prize of Rs.1,00,000/- was awarded to deserving individual/organization of India. Since 1991, the prize of Rs. 1,00,000/- each was awarded separately to individual and organizational category. From the year 2002, the prize money has been enhanced to Rs. 5,00,000/- in each category. Subsequently, the regulation governing the IGPP is revised from the year 2005 onwards, one prize of Rs.5,00,000/- under the Organisation category, and two prizes of Rs.3,00,000/- and Rs.2,00,000/- each to individuals in the Individual category are given annually. Along with the cash prize, each awardee is given a silver lotus trophy and a citation. Any citizen of India or organization working in India for the cause of environment is eligible for the award.
While selecting the awardees the term “environment’ is interpreted in the broadest sense possible and comprising of areas of work like prevention of pollution, conservation of natural resources, rational use of depletable resources, environmental planning and management, e-Environmental Impact Assessment, outstanding field work (innovative research work) for enrichment of environment e.g. afforestation, land reclamation, water treatment, air purification, environmental education, creating awareness of environmental issues to name few.
The environmental Prize Committee constituted under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Vice President of India select the awardees. The nomination for the award can be recommended by any citizen of India. Self nominations are not considered. There is no age limit for the nomination. Short listing of the nomination is carried out by three Expert Members selected by the Prime Minister’s Office.