As a tribute to the memory of the late Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and to his lifelong dedication to the cause of world peace and international understanding, the Government of India instituted the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding
in 1965, to be given annually for outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and friendship among peoples of the world. The Award is made by a seven members Jury appointed by the Government of India for this purpose.
The Jury is headed by the Vice President of India. The Chief Justice of India is an ex-officio member of the Jury. The other members of the Jury include (1) one Chief Justice of a State High Court; (2) one Vice Chancellor of a University (3) one person representing
the Press (4) two eminent persons from public life.
The term of the Jury is three years.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Award carried a trophy and a purse of Rs. 25 lakhs and a citation.
The Trophy has at its center an image of the globe with lotus petals radiating from its periphery. The impression of the globe is created by means of only four linear elements representing the axis and three major latitudes respectively. The blue-green is symbolic
of the colour of the earth when seen from outer space, a reminder that our is the only green planet is the solar system. The vertical axis with the top and bottom latitudes resembles a human figure, the resemblance underscored by a hollow dot on the top. The
significance of the lotus form has been celebrated variously in the Indian cosmology. Primarily it is symbol of human consciousness unfolding through the dark night of ignorance of the radiance of inner awakening and universal understanding.
The Jury for the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, unanimously decided that the Award for the year 2003 be given to H.E. Mr. Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore.
Since its inception in 1965 the following dignitaries have been conferred with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding:
Martin Luther King Jr.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
Kenneth D. Kaunda
Josip Broz Tito
Julius C. Nyerere
Tulsi Meherji Shrestha
Alva and Gunnar Myrdal
Leopold Sedar Senghor
Jevier Perez de Cuellar
Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Aruna Asaf Ali
Maurice F. Strong
Aung San Su Kyi
Mahathir Bin Mohamad