The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2021 has been awarded to civil society organisation Pratham for its pioneering work in improving the quality of education for underprivileged children in India and across the world. The awardee was picked by an international jury chaired by former Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust said in a statement.

What

  1. The 2021 Prize is awarded to Pratham for its pioneering work over more than a quarter century in seeking to ensure that every child has access to quality education, for its innovative use of digital technology to deliver education, for its programmes to provide skills to young adults, for its regular evaluation of quality education and for its timely response in enabling children to learn during the COVID-19 related school closures.
  2. Set up in 1995 in Mumbai by Madhav Chavan and Farida Lambay, Pratham has sought to give practical shape to its belief that every child should be in school and learning.
  3. It started work in Mumbai slums, setting up community-based Balwadis or pre-schools, and offering remedial education for students lagging behind their grade level curriculum.
  4. Its outreach in India has now expanded to on average 1 million children directly and 5 million through government partnerships annually.
  5. Its Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), based on surveying 6, 00,000 rural Indian children, is now used as a model to assess education outcomes and learning deficiencies in 14 countries over three continents.
  6. To respond to the concerns raised by ASER in 2007, Pratham launched its flagship programme, which aims to improve children's learning by strengthening basic reading and arithmetic.

Flashback

  1. The Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development was instituted in the memory of the former prime minister by a trust in her name in 1986.
  2. It consists of a monetary award of Rs 25 lakh along with a citation.
  3. The award is given to individuals or organisations who work towards ensuring international peace and development, ensuring that scientific discoveries are used to further the scope of freedom and better humanity, and creating new international economic order.