New Delhi: A prestigious International award will be conferred every year in the name of the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, who has the distinction of writing the national anthems of both India and Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made this announcement while inaugurating the 150th anniversary celebrations of the poet here on Saturday.

International award would be given to the individuals working for the promotion of international brotherhood and fraternity.

Describing Gurudev as multi-faceted genius, Singh said, "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 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."

For the revival of the Vishwa Bharti in Shantiniketan, which stands as a living symbol of Tagore, Manmohan said, “The government will make every possible effort to restore Shantiniketan to its past glory.”

While Congress President Sonia Gandhi released the digital collection of Tagore’s painting, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal release a postal stamp on Gurudev.

Saturday marked the official beginning of joint celebrations of Tagore’s 150th anniversary by India and Bangladesh. Present on the occasion was a minister from Bangladesh AK Khandekar along with Sonia Gandhi and several other Union Ministers.

The 150th anniversary celebrations, which started in Bangladesh on Friday, would be carried out throughout the year in both the countries.

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JPN/Bureau