The Nachiketa Awards Inspired by the story of Nachiketa, the virtuous son of Rishi Uddalak, the PEC has instituted the Nachiketa Awards for creative and practical ideas by teachers to improve the quality of educational inputs in the class-room. The story, as told in the ‘Kathopanishada’, has a very powerful message. When Uddalak wanted a son, he got involved in a tough penance at the end of which Lord Vishnu offered him two choices -- an idiot son who would live long, or an intelligent son who would have a short life. Uddalak chooses the second one -- a virtuous son who would not live for long. Thus was born Nachiketa. This bright youngster once confronted‘Yamadharma’, God of Death and also God of True Knowledge, about the nature of life and death, about life after death, and about ‘atmadnyaan’ -- knowledge of self. ‘Yamadharma’ tried to dissuade Nachiketa from asking that final question, and offered him many alternative temptations. Yet, the boy remained unmoved from his intentions. Ultimately, ‘Yamadharma’ told him the secret of ‘Brahman’, and the boy attained ‘Nirvana’. This story talks of ultimate virtuosity, which, we feel, should be the aim of education. And therefore, we call the award ‘Nachiketa Award’.