The country’s second highest civilian awards are now open for public nominations. Citizens, including non-resident Indians and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs), can nominate Indian achievers for the 2017 awards. The last date for the nominations is September 15, 2016.
In an effort to make the process for deciding the Padma Awards more transparent, the government has decided to open up the nominations for these prestigious awards to the public.
The Padma Awards are one of two highest civilian awards given by the Government of India, the other being the Bharat Ratna.
These awards were established in the year 1954 and have three subcategories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree (in decreasing order of precedence). The awards are conferred on individuals who exhibit exceptional achievements and significant contributions in various fields like arts, science and engineering, civil services, sports, trade and industry, public service, literature and education, social work, and medicine.
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Ever since the inception of these awards, the process of nominations has been restricted solely to government authorities. Up until now, the nominations used to come from the ministers of various states, union territories and the central government; Members of Parliament; various departments of the Central government; and Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees only.
In addition to the nomination process being made open to the public this year, it is also being digitalised on a single online platform. Any citizen with a valid Aadhar card and mobile number is eligible to nominate. All he/she has to do is register, log in, and recommend self or others for the awards.
After the nominations are recorded for the awards, the names are put forward to the Padma Awards Committee. Members of this committee include the Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary to the President, and 5-6 eminent personalities, who make the final recommendations, to be approved by the Prime Minister and the President.
Nominations by the general public will, it is hoped, provide greater transparency and reduce the chances of lobbying by interested parties. Open nominations will also ensure greater participation by the public and help highlight the achievements of deserving persons who would otherwise shy away from the limelight.
You can visit the website for more information and nominate a candidate here.
– Anjali Shrivastava