Why was PM Modi awarded the Seoul Peace Prize 2018?https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/what-is-the-seoul-peace-prize-2018-that-pm-narendra-modi-was-awarded-today-5596487/

Why was PM Modi awarded the Seoul Peace Prize 2018?

"The success that India has achieved in the last five years is due to aspirations, inspiration and efforts of the people of India. On their behalf, I accept the award and express my gratitude," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives the Seoul Peace Prize, at the award ceremony in Seoul, on Friday. (PIB/PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives the Seoul Peace Prize, at the award ceremony in Seoul, on Friday. (PIB/PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Friday awarded the Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his “contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth”. Modi, who is the fourteenth recipient of the award, received an honorarium cash prize of $200,000 that he gave away to the Namami Gange Programme (National Mission for Clean Ganga). A short film on the life and achievements of Prime Minister Modi was also screened at the event.

While expressing his gratitude for the prestigious award at the ceremony, Modi said, “The success that India has achieved in the last five years is due to aspirations, inspiration and efforts of the people of India. On their behalf, I accept the award and express my gratitude.” The prime minister also said that he was honoured that the award is being conferred on him in the year that India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

What is Seoul Peace Prize?

Established in 1990, the Seoul Peace Prize was an effort to crystallise the Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the rest of the world. It was initially established to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul, Republic of Korea – an event in which 160 nations from across the world took part, creating harmony and friendship and a worldwide atmosphere of peace and reconciliation.

Previous winners of the award include former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and international relief organisations like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam. The prize has been awarded to those who have made their mark through contributions to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations and to world peace.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the crowd after receiving the Seoul Peace Prize at the award ceremony in Seoul on Friday. (PIB/PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the crowd after receiving the Seoul Peace Prize at the award ceremony in Seoul on Friday. (PIB/PTI)

How is the Seoul Peace Prize winner selected?

The committee includes over 1,300 nominators, including internationally renowned Korean and foreign figures in political, economic, social, cultural, athletic, academic and other fields. The prize is given biennially and the nomination begins in November. The nominators should send back the forms after filling in the name of their candidates and their achievements three months before the advised date for the award giving ceremony. The final winner is selected through a vote by members of the committee.

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What do the Seoul Peace Prize winners get?

The awardee receives a diploma, a plaque and honorarium of US$200,000.The two-page, traditionally patted certificate has the emblem of the Seoul Peace Prize printed on the left side. The text of the certificate appears on the right side, in both Korean and English. The gold-plated, crystal plaque is fashioned after the traditional Taegeuk(two comma-shaped symbols united in a perfect circle) design.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L), inspects the guard of honour during a ceremonial reception, in Seoul. (PIB/PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L), inspects the guard of honour during a ceremonial reception, in Seoul. (PIB/PTI)

Why was PM Modi selected for Seoul Peace Prize?

Last year while conferring the prize, the Award Committee said it had found Modi to be the ‘perfect candidate’ after assessing over a hundred candidates proposed by over 1,300 nominators from around the world. A statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs read, “The Seoul Peace Prize Committee has decided to confer the 2018 Seoul Peace Prize on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in recognition of his dedication to improving international cooperation, raising global economic growth, accelerating the Human Development of the people of India by fostering economic growth in the world’s fastest-growing large economy and furthering the development of democracy through anti-corruption and social integration efforts.”

The award also credited Modi’s contribution towards regional and global peace through a proactive foreign policy with countries around the world under the ‘Modi Doctrine’ and the ‘Act East Policy.’