|Skoch Challenger Awards, instituted in 2003, salute people, projects and institutions that went the extra mile to make India a better nation. Skoch Challenger Awards – the highest independently instituted civilian honours – have been conferred, the mighty and the ordinary have shared this platform for their extraordinary achievements in contributing to the society.
The Skoch Challenger Awards cover the best of efforts in the area of digital, financial and social inclusion. They encompass the best of governance, look at excellence in academics, change management, inclusive growth, citizen services delivery, capacity building, empowerment and other such softer issues that get normally lost in the glamour and the glitz of industry sponsored or advertising focused jamborees.
The Skoch Challenger Awards are coveted for their independence, primary research and a distinguished jury based approach. The Skoch Challenger Awards are distinctive for its approach of selection of awardees, which is not based on nomination but on discovery. Additionally, the College of Skoch Lifetime Achievers are regularly consulted for expert identification, inputs and qualification of a project, person or institution to be considered for the Award. Some of the Skoch Lifetime Achievement Awardees include, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission; Dr C Rangarajan, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister; Dr Vijay Kelkar, Former Chairman, Thirteenth Finance Commission; Mr Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations; Mr C B Bhave, Chairman, SEBI; and, Dr R H Patil, Chairman, Clearing Corporation of India Limited. Further, documentary videos are produced after detailed research, for all the Lifetime Achievement Awardees and most of the projects and institutions. These are then shared with the domain experts and larger audience groups of practitioners ahead of the Awards and are put in public domain for larger dissemination once the Award is conferred. This has resulted in an unparalled video documentation of contemporary Indian history of best practices and has contributed to forming one of the largest online Knowledge Repositories hosted by Skoch.
No industry or government support or endorsement is either expected, accepted or solicited for the Skoch Challenger Awards and they remain independently instituted and conferred as a third party perspective. The Roll of Honour of the Skoch Challenger Awards over the years is a testimony to this. The Skoch Challenger Awards not only acknowledge exceptional achievers but also spurs inspirational guidance and motivational leadership.