"Government of India has decided to institute a prestigious international award in the name of Rabindranath Tagore to recognise very distinguished contributions towards the promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity," he said inaugurating the 150th anniversary celebrations of the poet.
He said a jury headed by the Prime Minister will select each year from across the globe a citizen of outstanding public eminence who in his or her life and work "epitomises the high universal ideals that Tagore stood for." The first award, he hoped, would be presented by the end of the commemoration period.
Noting that the poet was a multi-faceted genius, Singh said a wide range of projects are being undertaken as part of the anniversary celebrations to make Tagore's work more accessible to a wider audience and to preserve his works for posterity.
Underscoring his commitment to the revival of Viswa Bharati "which stands as a living symbol of the poet's enduring faith in the learning ability and creative power of the young mind and free spirit", he said a special grant of Rs 95 crore would be given to the varsity.
"I can think of no more important task than the revival of Viswa Bharati. As a chancellor of the university, I am personally committed to this important task. The Government of India is putting a lot of resources into Viswa Bharati including a special grant of Rs 95 crore," he said.