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Breaking down the Padma awards, and who this year’s big winners are4 min read

January 30, 2021 3 min read


Breaking down the Padma awards, and who this year’s big winners are4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The start of every year is awards season across the world, and India joins this bandwagon too by handing out one of the highest civilian awards of the country – Padma awards.

President Ram Nath Kovind

On January 25, the government announced the recipients of this year’s Padma awards, which are conferred in three categories – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri. They are awarded by the President of India at a special function at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan in Delhi each year. The aim of these awards is to recognise achievements in all fields of activity or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.

The Padma awards were instituted in the year 1954, and are announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day (January 26), except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997.

There are several people involved in the run-up to deciding who receives these awards. Members of various state governments, union territories as well as central government departments and institutions of Excellence get together to make suggestions on whom they think should receive Padma awards.

These nominations are then taken into consideration by an ‘Awards Committee’ that is formed by the President each year.

Owliver’s Obscure Facts

Earlier, the Padma awards were named Pehla Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. The names were changed in 1955 along with several statutes that were established in 1954. One such statute stated that no Padma awards could be awarded posthumously (after death), but in 1955, the statute was modified, or amended, to allow the recognition of someone’s work after their death.

How are the 3 awards different from one another?

Padma Vibhushan: This is the second-highest civilian honour of India, and is given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field including service rendered by government employees.

Padma Vibhushan

PS: The highest award in India is the Bharat Ratna.

Padma Bhushan: This award is given to recognise distinguished service of a high order to the nation.

Padma Shri: It is given on distinguished service in any field including service rendered by government employees.

Let’s take a look at some of this year’s awardees

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the conferment of a total of 119 Padma Awards – seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri.

Renowned musician SP Balasubramaniam
Shinzo Abe

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his achievements in the field of Public Affairs. SP Balasubramaniam, the noted musician who passed away in September last year, was awarded a Padma Vibhushan too.

Among the Padma Bhushan awardees are former Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Modi Nripendra Mishra, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi (posthumous), and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan (posthumous), among others.

If you want to see the full list of this year’s awardees, click on the link – https://padmaawards.gov.in/PDFS/2021AwardeesList.pdf

Owliver’s Obscure Facts

The award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardee’s name on letterheads, invitation cards, posters, books, etc. For example, one cannot say Padma Vibhushee-Owliver, and so on. In the case of any misuse, the awardee will forfeit the award.

Soures: Jagran Josh, NDTV, India News

Photos: padmaawards.gov.in, Wikipedia