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Gandhi Peace Prize conferred upon ISRO by President Mukherjee

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 10, 2015 01:23 IST
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President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize 2014 to Indian Space Research Organisation in recognition of its services in transforming India through the use of space technology and space based services.

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting Gandhi Peace Prize for the Year 2014 to ISRO, being received by its Chairman, A S Kiran Kumar, at a function, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. Photograph: PIB photos

ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar received the honour which carries Rs one crore in cash, a plaque and a citation.

"Countering the challenges of scarce resources, limited technical manpower and physical infrastructure in the early years, ISRO has today established operational space systems and services, attained self-reliance in development of indigenous technology and accomplished exemplary feats in space exploration.

President Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries at the conferment ceremony of the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. Photograph: PIB photos

"It has, at the same time, remained true to its mission of bringing space to the service of the common man," the president said.

From a humble beginning, launching small sounding rockets from Thumba for atmospheric studies, ISRO is presently one of the six largest space agencies of the world, he said.

Vice President Ansari, Prime Minister Modi and other dignitaries at the conferment ceremony of the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014. Photograph: PIB photos

Mukherjee praised ISRO for scripting space history on September 24, 2014 by successfully placing the Mars Orbiter around Mars. India is the only country in the world to achieve this feat in its first attempt and ISRO the fourth space agency in the world to reach Mars.

Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the presentation function of the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014 on Wednesday. Photograph: Atul Yadav/ PTI 

"It makes us even more proud that this mission was achieved at a fraction of the cost incurred by other successful nations," he said.

ISRO's people centric space programmes are designed to support various national priorities such as food and water security, sustainable environmental practices, conservation of resources, livelihood support, poverty alleviation, rural prosperity, education and health care and disaster management amongst others, the president said.

President Pranab Mukherjee addressing at the conferment ceremony of the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2014, at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Photograph: PIB photos

"It is my privilege and honour to receive the prestigious award on behalf of my organisation ISRO," Kiran Kumar said in his acceptance speech.

Gandhi Peace Prize, whose secretariat is provided by the culture ministry, is presented annually by the president. This award is given to individuals and institutions for their contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.

President Pranab Mukherjee (centre), Vice President Hamid Ansari (left), Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right), Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma (far left) and ISRO Chairman A S Kiran Kumar (far right) during the presentation ceremony of the Gandhi Peace Prize on Wednesday. Photograph: PTI

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani and other dignitaries were present in the ceremony.

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