New Delhi : India has been honoured by the United Nations with 2017 Public Service Awards, for its innovation and excellence in implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2017 Public Service Awards winners were announced during the UN Public Service Forum "The Future is Now – Accelerating Public Service Innovation for Agenda 2030" held from June 22 to 23 in The Hague, Netherlands. Twelve institutions from 11 countries were recognised on the UN Public Service Day for their pivotal role of public services innovations and excellence in the implementation of the SDGs. The Department of Women, Child Development and Social Welfare of West Bengal was recognised for its initiative 'Kanyashree Prakalpa'. This initiative aims to improve the status of adolescent girls from socio-economically disadvantaged families in West Bengal by providing cash transfer. "Kanyashree Prakalpa provides a safety net for those vulnerable families who are forced, by tradition, social compulsion or poverty, to truncate the education of their daughters and contract them to child marriages,"Dr Shashi Panja, Minister of State, Department of Women and Child Development & Social Welfare said yesterday. She said, 'The 'Kanyashree' makes a promise to every girl child to achieve her goal of a full education, shields her from being married off as a child.' A two-day forum was held in the Hague to allow ministers, senior public servants, civil society representatives, young people and experts to share innovations and lessons learned on mobilising public servants and public services to realise the SDGs. "We need to mobilise the best expertise of public servants to transform institutions and put people at the centre of public service. We need to mobilise their creativity and empower them to take risks and try new ways of doing things.We need innovation so that no one is left behind", Thomas Gass, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs said. The Forum bolstered the capacities of governments to respond in innovative ways to the challenges posed by implementation of the SDGs, in a range of areas, from energy and employment to children's well being and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people. The winner countries are Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Mongolia, the United Kingdom, Botswana, Colombia, France and Thailand.