President Pranab Mukherjee on 8 March 2017 presented the Nari Shakti Puraskar 2016 at a ceremony in New Delhi on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017. This year, the Selection Committee, chaired by the Minister of Women & Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, unanimously agreed to increase the number of Awards to 31 as more nominees were found to be deserving and the age criteria was also relaxed.
Some of the awardees of this year are scientists Anatta Sonney, B Codanayaguy and Subhu Varier, entrepreneurs Reema Sathe and Zuboni Humtsoe, trailblazer Mumtaz Kazi and many more. The Nari Shakti Puraskar carries a cash award of Rs 1 Lakh and a certificate for individuals and institutions.
Union Government confers Nari Shakti Puraskar every year on eminent women and institutions in recognition of their service towards the cause of women empowerment. The Nari Shakti Awards were initiated in the year 1999 and the guidelines were reframed in the year 2015. The Ministry of Women and Child Development announces these national level awards. The award is open to all Indian Institutions, organisations and individuals.
The WCD Ministry invites nominations from the State Governments, concerned Central Ministries, NGOs, universities, private and public sector undertakings (PSUs) working for empowerment of women. In exceptional cases, the Selection Committee may also, suo moto, recommend a person or institution for the award with justification. The final selection of the awardees is made by the National Selection Committee which takes into account the recommendations of the Screening Committee.