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About Dr. R.S. Tolia:

Dr. Raghunandan Singh Tolia served as the Chief Secretary of the mountain state of Uttarakhand. An institution builder, he was among the craftsmen who put the foundation of the governance set-up of Uttarakhand.

A top academician and thinker, he authored several articles and books pertaining to governance, ecology, and a plethora of other disciplines including British Kumaon Garhwal, Handbook for Public Information Officers and governance initiatives in Uttarakhand.

A son of mountains, Dr. Tolia belonged to the Munsiyari region of Pithoragarh and spent his post-retirement days in Munsiyari. An advocate of decentralised and hyper-local governance in hill states, he was also a champion of sustainable development in mountains.

The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) community suffered a great loss in 2016 with the passing away of its esteemed and visionary leader, elder, and guiding light. Dr. R.S. Tolia conceptualized the idea of IMI, got like-minded people onboard, and led it from the front as its founding President. His passion and commitment to improving the lives of mountain communities are what drove him. There are few people who have had such a profound impact on the future direction of mountain development as Dr. Tolia. His vision and commitment to the formation of a pan- Indian mountain movement not only unified diverse mountain states of India but also inspired others. His deep understanding of the links among people, cultures, livelihoods, and mountain environment undoubtedly influenced a generation of researchers, organizations, and policymakers.

While his passionate determination will continue to inspire people, the IMI community aims to encourage passionate individuals to carry forward the cause of integrated mountain development to commemorate the memory of Dr. Tolia and in gratitude to its founding President. Therefore, in 2017 IMI resolved to institute the ‘Dr. R.S. Tolia Award’ to recognize efforts that have made an impact in integrating and addressing the issues of mountain communities.

Dr. R.S. Tolia Award 2022

Call for Nominations

The ‘Dr. R.S. Tolia Award’, over the past five years, has emerged as one of the prestigious and top-notch awards recognising the work of change agents working for mountain communities.

The award, instituted in the honour and fond memory of Integrated Mountain Initiative’s founding President and our visionary leader, Dr. Raghunandan Singh Tolia, was instituted in 2017 to encourage passionate individuals to carry forward the cause of integrated mountain development. The purpose of the award is to recognize and reward the exemplary work of individuals whose work has created an impact / has the potential to impact the sustainable prosperity and well-being of the people of the Mountain states in India. In exceptional cases, organizations can also be considered. However, the preference will be to recognise individuals.

The award is not restricted to any particular sectors or fields of action. Innovation at grass root levels with widespread application/ impact as well as policy advocacy aimed at addressing issues and challenges of mountain states in India are eligible for consideration for the award.

The selection of the awardee is made by an independent, non-IMI jury of eminent individuals. The jury’s decision is final and binding.

Dr. R.S. Tolia was the first a top bureaucrat, visionary, thinker, scholar, and activist whose life was a guiding light for stakeholders working towards integrated mountain development.

Purpose & Rationale

The purpose of the award is to recognize and reward the exemplary work of individuals whose work has created an impact or has the potential to impact the sustainable prosperity and well-being of the people of the Mountain states in India. In exceptional cases, organizations can also be considered. However, the preference will be to recognize individuals.

Eligibility Criteria & Profile of the Suitable Candidate:

  • Individuals whose work has created an impact or has the potential to impact the lives and sustainability of Mountain areas positively are eligible to apply for the Award.
  • In rare cases, we may recognize institutions where such institutions are systematically responsible for driving action that meets the purpose of this award.
  • The award will not be restricted to any particular sector or field of action.
  • Innovation at grass root levels with widespread application/ impact as well as policy advocacy aimed at addressing issues and challenges of mountain states in India are eligible for consideration for the award.
  • Academic research that informs policy formulation and action research with similar impacts are also eligible.
  • The award is aimed at celebrating the contribution of mountain people working to improve the lives of mountain people and the sustainable prosperity of states in the Indian Himalayan Region. However, eligibility for nomination for the award is not restricted to people from mountains only. If some individuals’ / organizations’ work has made a huge positive impact on the people of the Indian Himalayan Region, they will be recognized irrespective of where they come from.
  • The selection of awardee will be made by an independent, non-IMI jury of eminent individuals. The jury’s decision will be final and binding.

Value of the Award:

The value of the award is INR 1 lakh and a citation. In addition, IMI will cover all related expenses such as travel/accommodation of the award winner as appropriate.

Deadline for 2022:

Nominations for the award are now open and will be accepted till 30th September 2022 (11:59 PM). Interested individuals/organisations may download the nomination form and send in their application along with a recent CV by the above date to progcoordinator@inmi.in. Late applications will not be considered.