Current Affairs: Padma awards will be decided by citizens of India
Transforming Padma awards into people's awards
First time in country, Padma awards will be decided by citizens of India
- Government throws open the nomination process for the prestigious Padma Awards to general public; Citizens of India can now nominate achievers for the national awards. Padma awards, the most prestigious civilian awards can now truly be called people's award.
- For the first time in country, the Padma awards will be decided by citizens of India who now have the facility to nominate individuals for the awards. Any Indian citizen can recommend names for the Padma awards now, as the government has opened up the nomination process to the public.
- Padma Awards were instituted in the year 1954. Except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1977 and 1980 and 1993 to 1997, these awards have been announced every year on Republic Day. The award is given in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
- Padma Shri is awarded for ‘distinguished service’.
- Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service of a high order’.
- Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished service'.
- The award seeks to recognize work of any distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry etc. All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.
- The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously if the demise of the person proposed to be honoured has been recent, say within a period of one year preceding the Republic Day on which it is proposed to announce the award.
- A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, a relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee.
- Padma Vibhushan — Second degree honour.
- Padma Bhushan — Third degree honour.
- Padma Shri — Fourth degree honour.
- However, there are often complaints that these awards are given to entertainers, businessmen, film stars, cricketers and influential persons while the entire community of common persons have got nothing, according to Shri Sharad Yadav (Janata Dal President)