Congress president Sonia Gandhi will present the first Shailendra Kumar Singh award, named after the late distinguished Indian Foreign Service officer, on Friday at an event organised by Manju S K Singh, his widow, and the Ministry of External Affairs, in New Delhi.
S K Singh was a noted IFS diplomat who retired as India's foreign secretary. After the retirement he became the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The award is instituted by the Jai Surendra Trust in partnership with the Union foreign ministry, and aims to recognise excellence in the IFS.
The stunningly powerful jury that decided the first winner of the award consists of Vice President Hamid Ansari, National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and Manju Singh.
It is a rare event when the Gandhis have got associated with an award.
Singh's son Kanishka is a political aide of Rahul Gandhi and manages his office in the national capital.
According to the invitation sent out to the guests, "The annual award recognises excellence within the IFS community and seeks to encourage leadership, a core objective of S K Singh during his career as a public servant."
S K Singh had a distinguished career that included his tenure as the high commissioner in Pakistan. He passed away in December 2009.
Manju Singh desires that the award "will contribute towards shining the light on the very best" in the younger generation within foreign service.
Vice President Ansari will speak on the occasion.