The government has received a record number of 49,992 nominations for the Padma Awards 2019. This is 38 times more than the number of nominations received in 2010!
There were 1,313 nominations that year. In 2016, 18,768 nominations were received for the prestigious civilian honours. The figure went up to 35,595 nominations in 2017, the Union Home Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
One reason for the spike in the number of nominations post-2016 is that the process was made online. “A simple, accessible and secure online platform was put in place to encourage citizens to participate in large numbers (in the Padma Awards),” the ministry explained.
Padma Awards 2019
The Padma Vibhushan is the country’s second highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna. The Padma Bhushan, and the Padma Shri follow in the order of precedence.
The online nomination process commenced on 1 May 2018; the last date for submission of nominations was 15 September.
People’s Padma Awards In 2018
85 Padma Awards, including three Padma Vibhushan honours, were announced on Republic Day this year. Acclaimed music composer Ilaiyaraja, veteran RSS ideologue P Parameswaran and classical musician Ghulam Mustafa Khan were awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
Each of the 10 ASEAN countries, whose heads of state attended the Republic Day parade as chief guests, had a Padma Shri recipient.
But the special feature was an emphasis on honouring “unsung heroes” from diverse fields to make this a Peoples Padma Awards.
So one had Padma Shri awardees like toymaker Arvind Gupta, healer Lakshmikutty, Gond artist Bhajju Shyam, 98-year-old social worker Sudhanshu Biswas, and palliative care physician MR Rajagopal.
How The Padma Awards Selection Process Works
Nominations for the Padma Awards invited from Central Ministries/Departments, States/UT Governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, Institutes of Excellence as also from several other sources to enable broad based consideration.
All citizens can make nominations/recommendation, including self-nomination.
The nominations are screened and then reviewed by the Padma Awards Committee. This is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes the Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members.