SAARC has instituted several awards to encourage individuals and organizations in furthering the objectives of SAARC.
The Twelfth Summit (Islamabad, January 2004) approved the institution of the SAARC Award to honour and encourage outstanding individuals and organizations within the region.
The main objectives of the SAARC Award shall be to encourage individuals and organizations based in South Asia to undertake programmes and activities complementing the efforts of SAARC; to encourage individuals and organizations in South Asia contributing to the improvement of the conditions of women and children; to honour outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals and organizations within the region in the fields of peace, development, poverty alleviation, environment protection and regional cooperation making the SAARC Award the most valuable prize in the region; and to honour any other outstanding contributions and achievements, not covered above, of individuals and organizations in the region.
The SAARC Award comprises of a gold medal, a letter of citation and carries a purse of US $ 25,000.
SAARC Youth Awards Scheme
The SAARC Youth Awards Scheme was instituted in 1996 to provide recognition to extraordinary young talents and encourage the overall development of the youth in the region. The Scheme is also aimed at encouraging the South Asian youth to excel in various fields and to realize their full potential.
The SAARC Youth Awards Scheme is open to nationals of SAARC Member Countries, who are within the age group of 20-35 years at the time of nomination. The Award consists of a citation in English; a Gold Medal; and a cash prize of US$ 1500.00.
The SAARC Youth Awards have so far been presented on the following themes :
1997 : First Award for “Outstanding Social Service in Community Welfare”
1998 : Second Award for “New Inventions and Discoveries”
2001 : Third Award for “Creative Photography : South Asian Diversity”
2002 : Fourth Award for “Outstanding contribution to protect the Environment”
2003 : Fifth Award for “Invention in the Field of Traditional Medicine”
The theme for the year 2004 was decided as “Dedicated Community Services in the Field of TB and/or HIV/AIDS”.
SAARC Regional Award for Young Scientists and Senior Scientists
A recommendation for instituting an Annual Regional Award for Young Scientists was made by the Working Group on Meteorology at its second meeting in New Delhi as early as December 1982. The Award includes a citation, a bronze medal and an amount equivalent to US$ 500. Up to now, 14 Young Scientists have received the Award. The purpose of the Award is to encourage young scientists of the region working in the field of Meteorology.
SAARC also instituted a separate Award for Senior Scientists in 1997. The purpose of these awards is to encourage excellence in research analysis and outstanding publications in the meteorological field.