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Current Affairs

Congressional Gold Medal

Date: 18 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


A bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to award Congressional Gold Medal to Mahatma Gandhi.



The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.



  • Gandhi will become the first Indian to receive the honour if the Congressional Gold Medal is awarded to him.

  • The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award in the US and the previous recipients include Nelson Mandela, George Washington, and JF Kennedy etc.


Process of nomination

  • A legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal has to be introduced in Congress session. This medal was usually rare but in recent decades the numbers have significantly increased.

  • At least two-thirds of the Members of the House should co-sponsor the Congressional Gold Medal legislations. There are no limits on the number of such medals that can be awarded during a given year.



  • The medal was earlier given to participants of American civil war, Mexico war and also the war of 1812. Later the qualifications were expanded.

  • Now actors, musicians, explorers, writers, humanitarians, athletes and also foreign dignitaries with service to a particular section are also awarded.


The nomination of Gandhi

  • The nomination of Gandhi has not been the first time. In 2018, the same congresswoman had brought the bill and was sponsored by Indian-Americans Ro Khanna, Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamurthy and Pramila Jayapal.

  • Maloney is a member of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans. She had earlier led efforts to create a commemorative Diwali stamp.