Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize is best described as an international prize awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. This is done in accordance to guidelines highlighted in Alfred Nobel’s Will. It is one among the 5 Nobel Prizes created by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish armaments manufacturer and inventor.
Since 1901, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year to those who have performed the best or most work for reduction or abolition of standing armies, for promoting and holding peace congresses and fraternity between nations.
As per Nobel’s will, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is chosen by Norwegian Nobel Committee which is compromised of 5 members appointed by Norway parliament. Since 1990, this prize is awarded on 10th December every year in Oslo City. Formally1947-89, the Prize was awarded in University of Oslo Faculty of Law Atrium, the Parliament (1901-1904) and Norwegian Nobel Institute (1905-1946).
Alfred Nobel died in 1896 and to date there is no explanation as to why he included peace in the prize category. He was a chemical engineer for this reason the physics and chemistry categories were obvious choices but not the peace category.
However, according to the Nobel Committee, his friendship with a peace activist, Bertha von Suttner who later won the prize might have influenced his decision to include peace in the list. Nobel scholars though argue that it was his way of compensating for developing forces that were destructive.
Selection and nomination
Every year people who are qualified are invited by the Nobel Committee to submit their nominations for the prize. The Nobel Foundation statute specifies categories for individuals eligible to make nominations and they include:
- National assembly’s members, governments and Inter-Parliamentary Union members.
- Institut de Droit International members
- Norwegian Nobel Institute former permanent advisors
- Past and present Norwegian Nobel Committee members
- Professors of social sciences, history, theology, law and philosophy in universities, international affair institutes, peace research directors and university presidents.
- Members of ICC at The Hague and Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Nominations are supposed to be presented at the start of February of every award year. Nominations which are made by Nobel committee members are submitted to the date when they hold the meeting after the deadline.
205 nominations were made in 2009, 237 in 2010 and 241 in 2011. The statues of the Foundation do not permit divulgence of information about investigations, nominations or considerations used toward the prize made public for a maximum 50 years after awarding of the prize. One hundred and twenty six laureates have been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize 94 times between 1901 and 2013. This includes 25 organizations and 101 individuals. Note that the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for refugees have received the prize 2 times as such there are twenty two individual organizations that have been awarded the prize.
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Dr. Amartya Sen-The Nobel Laureate
“The Heights by the great man reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, But while their companions were slept, they were toiling upwards in the night.”
It was a great moment of pride for India and the Indians, when the great Indian Economists, Prof. Amartya Sen was chosen for the Nobel Prize for Economics 1998. Prof. Sen was conferred the most coveted international award for his elegant contribution to “Welfare Economics” which throws light on the understanding of the economic mechanism under the circumstances of famine and poverty. With the recognition for his contribution to welfare economics, Prof. Sen, 64, master of Trinity College at Cambridge University, became the sixth Indian to get the Nobel Prize and the first Asian to merit it for Economics. He is also the first solo winner of the prize for Economics since 1995.
Prof. Sen was born on Nov. 3, 1933 in Shantinekatan (Bengal). When he was just 9 years of age, he witnessed the destructions caused by the 1943 famine which left indelible marks on his mind. He said, “It touched me to find emaciated people arriving from nowhere and dying in the thousands. It made me thinks about what causes famine and when I took on the famine work in a formal way 30 years later, I was still quite haunted by the memories of that period.” After completing his graduation for Presidency College Calcutta, Prof. Sen went to Trinity College Cambridge for higher studies, where he received his doctorate. At the age of twenty three, the young Sen already enjoyed status of a celebrity. He was appointed, Head of Department of Economics by the learned academician Dr. B.C. Roy, that generated a hot debate in the Bengal Assembly, but taken care of by Dr. Roy with his characteristic elan. Dr. Roy hailed Prof. Sen, as excellently brilliant and competent to occupy the chair of HOD of Economics.
Prof. Sen has published a number of books as well as articles in various journals of economics, philosophy, politics and decision theory. His books have been translated into many languages and include Collective Choice (1970), On Economic inequality (1973, 1977), On Ethics and Economics (1987), Choice, Welfare and the Measurement (1982),Resources, Values and Development (1984), The Standard of Living (1987), Inequality Reexamined (1992) and Development as Freedom (1999), among others.
His research has ranged over a number of fields in economics and philosophy, including social choice theory, welfare economics, and theory of measurement, development economics, and moral and political philosophy. He has a forthcoming book, Freedom, Rationality and Social Choice. He is currently working on the rationality of choice and behavior, and also on objectivity of knowledge.
He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Econometric Society as well as a foreign Honrary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received honorary doctorates (more than forty) from major universities in North America, Europe and Asia. Sen has received various honours including the “Bharat Ratna” (the highest honour awarded by the President of India). Among the awards he has received are the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy, the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Prize in Ethics, the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award, the Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award, and the Nobel prize in Economics.
Mr. Sen also served as professor in the prestigious Delhi School of Economics and in London School of Economics. He served as Professor in Oxford University and also in Harvard University.
Nobel laureate Mr. Robert Solow, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, paid the most telling tribute to prof. Amartya Sen. He said, “Mr. Sen is the conscience of economists. He taps something many economists feel, namely, that you’re put your misspent youth into learning all this stuff but you can’t say as an economist whether something is the right thing to do.”
Prof. Sen made empirical studies on the cause of famine and its impact in terms of Welfare Economics, mechanism. In empirical studies , Sen’s application of his theoretical approach have enchased or understanding of the actual effect of economic policies to tackle the problems like poverty, famine, hunger’s he opined that famine have less to do with food supply than with simple economics.
India is proud of Prof. Sen who followed the footsteps of other India Nobel Laureates Like Rabindranath Tagore – Literature (1913), C.V, Raman – Physics (1930), Hargobind Khurana – Medicine (1968), Mother Teresa – Peace (1979) and subramainam Chandrashekhar – Physics (1983).
Prof. Sen is a man who raised to the such grandeur heights by sheer force of his zeal, dedication, determination and sincerity. He was not born with silver spoon in his mouth. He achieved everything with his untiring work, devotional approach and dedicated efforts with a positive and iron will. The International media too reclaimed Prof. Sen of getting the Nobel Prize. In the New York, Times in its editorial, wrote, “It is gratifying to see the prize given to a man who has dedicated himself to the issues of poverty and distribution of wealth – a question of supreme importance to far more people than was the work of last years’ witness.”