The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will confer Rajiv Gandhi International Prize for Technology in Education to Azim Premji Foundation on 28th September 2011 at the Indian Habitat Center in the capital. The award will be presented by the Union Minister for Human Resource and Development and Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal to Azim Premji, the founder of the foundation.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Prize for Technology in Education and Development was instituted by the University in its Silver Jubilee Year. The prize will be given to an individual or an institution that has made significant contributions in education particularly educational technology, for development in developing countries across the world. The prize comprises a cash component of Rs.5 lakh and a citation. The first awardee for this International Prize for Technology in Education and Development is the Azim Premji Foundation founded by Azim Premji, Chairman, WIPRO.
In 2001, Premji founded the Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for profit organization, with a vision to achieve quality universal education that facilitates a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. The Foundation works in the area of elementary education to pilot and develop 'proofs of concept' that have a potential for systemic change in India's 1.3 million government-run schools. A specific focus is on working in rural areas where the majority of these schools exist. This choice to work with elementary education in rural government-run is a response to evidence of educational attainment in India.
In 2005 he became the first Indian recipient of the Faraday Medal. Wesleyan University, USA, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Aligarh University and Visveswaraya Technological University have all conferred honorary doctorates to him, while XLRI, Jamshedpur has conferred the Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial and Social Peace. In 2000, the Institute ofElectronics and Telecommunication Engineers conferred its highest honor – the Honorary Fellowship. The US-India Business Council has honored him with the “Global Vision” award. The country honoured Azim Premji with Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.