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Awards and Orations

JRD Tata Memorial Awards

When the founder and Governing Board Chairman of the Population Foundation of India, Mr JRD Tata, passed away in 1993, he had already laid a strong base for a social movement to stabilise the growth of population in India as a prerequisite to improve the quality of people’s life in the country. At that point the Foundation felt that it would be a fitting tribute to its founder chairman if national awards were instituted in his name to further the cause he believed in and championed so wholeheartedly. In February 1996, the PFI Governing Board formally decided to institute national awards for the best performing state and districts which demonstrated outstanding achievements in the population and reproductive health and family planning programme. The first awards were announced and given to the winning state and districts in 1997. Since then, in five consecutive rounds, various states and districts have been awarded the JRD Tata Memorial Awards (Table 1) taking into account their current levels of performance on crucial indicators as well as the pace of progress achieved over time.

For the 5th JRD Tata Memorial Awards progress was measured by taking into consideration a set of 13 indicators on reproductive health, gender equity, family planning, and housing amenities. Data from two rounds of the District Level Household Surveys, DLHS 2002-04 and DLHS 2007-08, and the Census of 2001 and 2011 was analysed to measure the progress. The combined performance of the districts was taken into account while selecting the states for the awards.

The JRD Tata Memorial Awards at a Glance

14th JRD Tata Memorial Oration

JRD Tata Memorial Oration

As part of its advocacy programme, the Population Foundation of India instituted an annual lecture series `Encounter with Population Crisis’ in 1990. Accordingly, every year, PFI invites important international and national persons of distinction to deliver a lecture focusing on critical issues related to population and development and carrying the debate forward. In 1995 (PFI’s Silver Jubilee year), the series was rechristened as the `JRD Tata Memorial Oration’, in the memory of the late Mr. JRD Tata, the founder chairman of the Population Foundation of India. The eminent people who have delivered these orations include Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde, well known statesman and political leader, followed by other distinguished persons and thought leaders, including Mr. Chandra Shekhar (former Prime Minister of India), Dr. Najma Heptulla, Mr. I.K. Gujral (former Prime Minister), Dr. Nafis Sadik (Executive Director, UNFPA), Mr. K.C. Pant, Mr. Digvijay Singh, Dr. Manmohan Singh (former Prime Minister), Dr. Somnath Chatterjee, Mr. Jamshed Irani and Prof. Amartya Sen, well known economist and Nobel Laureate. The 13th Tata Oration lecture was given by Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director on Dignity and Choice for Girls and Women in the Post-2015 Framework.
For the 5th JRD Tata Memorial Awards progress was measured by taking into consideration a set of 13 indicators on reproductive health, gender equity, family planning, and housing amenities. Data from two rounds of the District Level Household Surveys, DLHS 2002-04 and DLHS 2007-08, and the Census of 2001 and 2011 was analysed to measure the progress. The combined performance of the districts was taken into account while selecting the states for the awards.