The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honors of India announced annually on the eve of Republic Day. These awards recognize exceptional and distinguished service in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved. The Awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order), and Padma Shri (distinguished service). The Padma Award seek to honor achievements in diverse fields and acknowledge contributions to society.
In this article, we will delve into the history and relevance of the Padma Award, the significance of each category, the nomination process, and eligibility criteria for the awards.
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History and relevance
The Government of India instituted two civilian awards, Bharat Ratna & Padma Vibhushan, in 1954. The latter had three classes, namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg, and Tisra Varg. These were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri vide Presidential Notification issued on January 8, 1955.
The Padma Award have been conferred every year since their inception, except for brief interruptions during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997. The awards seek to recognize works of distinction and are given for distinguished and exceptional achievements or service in all fields of activities or disciplines. The awards acknowledge the contributions of individuals to the nation and inspire others to emulate their examples.
Categories of the Padma Awards
The Padma Awards are given in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. This award is conferred on individuals who have made an exceptional contribution in their respective fields. The award includes a medal, a certificate, and a cash prize of INR 7.5 lakh.
Padma Bhushan is awarded for distinguished service of a high order. This award is conferred on individuals who have made a significant contribution in their respective fields. The award includes a medal, a certificate, and a cash prize of INR 5 lakh.
Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service. This award is conferred on individuals who have made significant contributions in their respective fields. The award includes a medal, a certificate, and a cash prize of INR 2.5 lakh.
Eligibility Criteria for Padma Awards
All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex are eligible for these awards. However, Government servants, including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these Awards.
A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since the conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, the Awards Committee can make a relaxation.
The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
Nomination process for Padma Awards
The Padma Award are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Award Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The nomination process is open to the public, and self-nominations can be made.
The Padma Award Committee screens the nominations and prepares a shortlist for consideration by the Prime Minister. The shortlisted nominations are then sent to the Awards Committee for further scrutiny and finalization
The selection process for the Padma Awards is rigorous and transparent. The Padma Award Committee, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, evaluates the nominations received from various sources, including the general public, state governments, central ministries, and departments, and other institutions. The Committee screens and shortlists the nominations based on their achievements and contribution in their respective fields. The shortlisted names are then sent to the Padma Award Committee for further consideration and recommendation.
The final list of awardees is approved by the Prime Minister and then submitted to the President of India for his approval. The awardees are then announced on the eve of Republic Day.
SIGNIFICANCE OF PADMA AWARDS
The Padma Awards are a recognition of exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in various fields. These awards not only honor individuals but also inspire others to work towards the betterment of society. They recognize the contributions of individuals from all walks of life and professions, and help to foster a sense of national pride and unity. The award also serves as a motivation for the younger generation to strive towards excellence in their respective fields.
The Padma Awards are a prestigious honor that recognizes exceptional and distinguished service in various fields. The selection process for these awards is rigorous and transparent, ensuring that only the most deserving individuals are honored. These awards serve as a source of inspiration for the younger generation and help to foster a sense of national pride and unity. The Padma Awards are an integral part of India’s tradition of honoring exceptional individuals, and they continue to inspire and motivate people to strive towards excellence.
What is the highest civilian award in India?
The highest civilian award in India is the Bharat Ratna.
How many categories of Padma Awards are there?
There are three categories of Padma Awards – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
Who selects the awardees for the Padma Awards?
The awardees for the Padma Awards are selected by the Padma Awards Committee, headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
Can government servants receive the Padma Awards?
Government servants, including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for the Padma Awards.
When are the Padma Awards announced?
The Padma Awards are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day, except for brief interruptions during certain years.