In Focus: Civilian Awards:

In Focus: Civilian Awards:

  • In 1954, Government of India instituted two civilian awards i.e. Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan.
  • The Padma Vibhushan had three classes namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg, which were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri in 1955.

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.
  • Recommendations for Bharat Ratna: The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
    • Note: No formal recommendations for Bharat Ratna are necessary.
  • Maximum number of Bharat Ratna in a year: 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.

About: Padma Awards

  • The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India usually announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
  • These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.
  • The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
  • The Awards are given in three categories:
    1. Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service)
    2. Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order)
    3. Padma Shri (distinguished service)

The Award:

  • The awardees are presented a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion.
  • The recipients are also given a small replica of the medallion, which they can wear during any ceremonial/State functions etc. if the awardees so desire.
  • The names of the awardees are published in the Gazette of India on the day of the presentation ceremony.
  • The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
  • The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name

Fields/Disciplines eligible for Padma Awards: The Padma award seeks to distinguish works of excellence and is given for and extraordinary achievements in all fields of

  • Art
  • Social work
  • Public Affairs
  • Science & Engineering
  • Trade & Industry
  • Medicine
  • Literature & Education
  • Civil Service
  • Sports
  • Others (fields not covered above and may include propagation of Indian Culture, protection of Human Rights, Wild Life protection/conservation etc.)

Who are eligible 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.

Recommendations for Padma Award:

  • The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year.
  • The 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.

Nomination Process:

  • The nomination process is open to the public. Even self-nomination can be done.

Maximum Number of Padma Awards in a year:

  • 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.

 Polity & Governance