Padma Awards for the year 2023 have been announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2023.
- The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The nomination process is open to the public. Even self-nomination can be made.
- 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.
Padma Awards –
- Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, is announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997.
- The award is given in three categories, namely,
- Padma Vibhushan for exceptional and distinguished service;
- Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of a high order; and
- Padma Shri for distinguished service.
- The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
- 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.
- The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
- 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.
- The total number of awards to be given in a year (excluding posthumous awards and to NRI/foreigners/OCIs) should not be more than 120.
- Committee – All nominations received for Padma Awards are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members. The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.
About ‘Bharat Ratna’ –
- Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country.
- It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
- It is treated on a different footing from Padma Award.
- The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
- No formal recommendations for Bharat Ratna are necessary.
- The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year. Government has conferred Bharat Ratna Award on 45 persons till date.