German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been chosen for the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for her enormous efforts toward sustainable and equitable development, it was announced here on Monday.

The jury, chaired by Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, has decided to confer the award for 2009 on Dr. Merkel, an External Affairs Ministry release said here on Monday.

The 57-year-old German leader is known for her efforts for good governance and understanding and for the creation of a world better positioned to handle the emerging challenges of the 21st century, it said.

She has been sympathetic to developing countries and our own developmental imperatives and has led the search for a balanced solution based on principles of equity and sensitivity to the interests of the developing world, it said.

The award carries prize money of Rs.1 crore besides a trophy and citation.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Mother Teresa, Kenneth Kaunda, Aung San Suu Kyi, Hosni Mubarak, Josip Broz Tito and Nelson Mandela are some of past recipients of the award.