Padma Awards – UPSC Prelims

Padma Awards:
  • Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India, announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
  • The award was instituted in 1954 along with Bharat Ratna.
  • Purpose: The award seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.
  • Categories: 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).
  • Eligibility: 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.
  • Selection for Awards: 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.
  • Limitations and Exceptions: 
    • The awardees do not get any cash reward, but a certificate signed by the President apart from a medallion which they can wear at public and government functions.
    • The awards are not a conferment of title, and the awardees are expected to not use them as prefixes or suffixes to their names.
    • A Padma awardee can be given a higher award only after five years of the conferment of the earlier award.
    • 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.
Does the Recipient Consent be sought before giving the award? 
There is no provision for seeking a written or formal consent of the recipient before the announcement of the award. However, before the announcement, every recipient receives a call from the Ministry of Home Affairs informing him or her about the selection. In case the recipient expresses a desire to be excluded from the award list, the name is removed. There is no such rule to refuse the award once it has been announced.

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