What Do the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri Winners Get?: The country’s highest civilian awards, namely Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Padma Shri, are announced every year on January 26, Republic Day. The Padma award seeks to recognise the achievements in all disciplines or activities when an element of public service is necessitated.
What are these Padma awards? How are the awardees selected? What do the Padma Vibhushan award winners, the winner of Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri’s winner, receive their contribution? This article will answer all the questions.
About Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri
The Padma Awards are awarded in all disciplines, such as social work, science, art, public affairs, engineering, education, literature, medicine, trade and industry, sports, civil service, and other fields like the propagation of Human Rights, Wildlife, etc. The highest three Padma awards are conferred on the endorsements made by the Padma Awards Committee, constituted by the Prime Minister annually.
On occasion, the Padma awards are presented and honoured, on January 26, on Republic Day celebration every year. The Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and the Padma Shri awards are offered at a Rashtrapati Bhavan around March or April. The term ‘Padma’ comes from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Lotus’ connoting the Lotus flower, the national flower of India.
- Padma Vibhushan is honoured for its distinguished and exceptional service to the nation. In 2021, seven individuals were bestowed with the award.
- Padma Bhushan is honoured for the distinguished service of a high order to the nation, and in 2021, 10 people are honoured with this award.
- Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service in any discipline or field. In 2021, 102 people were awarded the Padma Shri award.
The Padma Awards aims to recognise the work of any distinction and is offered for exceptional and distinguished services or achievements in all fields of disciplines or activities, such as Literature and Education, Art, Civil Service, Sports, Trade and Industry, Medicine, Science and Engineering, Social Work, Public Affairs, and other fields.
The Padma Awards have also been awarded to a few eminent individuals who were not Indian citizens but did contribute in multiple ways to the growth and development of the nation.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, public service should be given recognition for the achievements, and the eminent person is to be selected. It should not be merely excellence in a particular field, but it should also consider the excellence plus.
All persons without distinction of position, race, sex, or occupation remain eligible for the Padma Awards. However, Government servants, including people working with the PSUs, except doctors and scientists, do not qualify for Padma Awards.
The Padma Awards usually are not conferred posthumously. However, contingent upon the highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously only if the demise of the proposed person has been recently falling within one year preceding Republic Day.
The higher category of the Padma award can only be honoured to a person with at least five years’ lapse since the conferment of the previous Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, a relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee to offer the Padma Award.
The Padma Award medal is ranked fourth for wearing decorations and medals on uniforms. The Padma medals are manufactured and produced at Alipore Mint, Kolkata. The other civilian and military awards like Padma Bhushan, Bharat Ratna, Padma Shri, and Param Veer Chakra Padma Vibhushan are also manufactured and produced.
The total number of Padma awards to be given in a year, excluding posthumous honours and non-citizen recipient awards, should not exceed 120 numbers. The Padma awards recipients are registered in India’s weekly publication, The Gazette of India, released by the Department of Publication, Ministry of Urban Development. This weekly magazine is used for official government notices. The bestowal of the Padma awards is not considered official until without being published in The Gazette of India publication.
What Are The Recipients Of Padma Awards Offered?
The Padma awards are just an honour and bear no cash allowance or any benefit. The awardees are not subjected to any facilities like a concession, etc., in air travel, or railway service is attached to these awards. The Padma award does not amount to any Title and cannot be deployed as a prefix or suffix to the awardee’s name on invitation cards, books, letterheads, posters, cards, etc. In case of any misemployment or dissipation of the award, the awardee will forfeit the honour.
- A commemorative brochure including a detailed brief regarding each Padma award winner comes released at the investiture ceremony.
- The decoration consists of a Sanad or certificate issued under the President’s hand and seal along with a medallion.
- The recipients are presented with a replica of the medal, which can be worn during any State functions, ceremonials, etc. if desired.
A Brief on Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri Medallion
- The Padma Vibhushan badge is a circular badge with one to three and one-sixth-inch burnished bronze medals with geometrical patterns. The medallion holds a centrally-located Lotus flower with four significant petals sculpted in white-gold colour. The word ‘Padma’ signifies the Lotus and is marked in Devanagari script above the Lotus flower sculpt, and the word ‘Vibhushan’ is written below the sculpt. In obverse, a platinum Emblem of the nation is placed at the medallion centre. The National motto, Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs), remains carved in Devanagari Script.
- The Padma Bhushan badge’s design is a circular medal with one to three and one-sixth-inch burnished bronze medals with geometrical patterns. The medallion holds a centrally-located Lotus flower with three significant petals embossed in white gold. The word ‘Padma’ signifies the Lotus and is marked in Devanagari script above the Lotus flower sculpt, and the word ‘Bhushan’ is embossed in silver-gilt.
- The Padma Shri badge’s design and the pattern is a geometrical pattern on either side is burnished bronze. On its obverse, the words ‘Padma’ signifies the Lotus and is marked in Devanagari script above the Lotus flower sculpt and the word ‘Shri’ is written below the sculpt and is embossed in white-gold.
How are the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri Recipients Decided?
The recommendations for Padma Awards are received from all the State and Union territory governments, the previous recipients of the Padma Awards, and the Ministries of the Government of India. Other members include the Institutes of Excellence, the Ministers, the recipients of Bharat Ratna awards, the Chief Ministers and the Governors of State, and the Members of Parliament, including private individuals.
The recommendations for the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri recipients are submitted during the period between May 1 and September 15 of every year. The suggestion is presented to the Padma Awards Committee, composed of the Prime Minister of India. The Padma Awards Committee later suggests their recommendations to the residing Prime Minister. The presiding president of India makes the further approval of the recommended recipients.
When Were Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri Suspended?
Padma Awards was instituted in 1954. The two brief interruptions were in 1978 and 1979, due to which the Padma Awards were temporarily stopped.
- The Padma Awards were suspended in July 1977 when Moraji Desai was sworn in as India’s fourth prime minister. The suspension was revoked on January 25, 1980, upon Indira Gandhi’s swearing-in as the Prime Minister of India.
- The civilian awards were suspended the second time in mid-1992 when two Public-Interest Litigations were filed in India’s High courts. The first petition in the Kerala High Court was held on February 13, 1992, by civilian Balaji Raghavan. The Indore Bench conducted the second petition in Madhya Pradesh High Court on August 24, 1992, petitioned by civilian Satya Pal Anand. Balaji Raghavan and Satya Pal, both the petitioners, questioned the civilian awards being ‘Titles’ under Article 18 (1) of the Indian Constitution. On August 2, 1992, the Madhya Pradesh High Court issued a notice stating the temporary suspension of all the civilian awards in the country. The Special Division Bench restored the awards on December 15, 1995. The Bench delivered a judgment that the Padma Awards and the Bharat Ratna awards are not titles under Article 18 of the Indian Constitution.
Civilian Awards in India
The Indian Government essentially recognises the Indian Honour System. The Indian Honour System is subdivided into five categories- Leadership, Literature, Civilian, Particular, and Patriotic.
- Gandhi Peace Prize award
- Indira Gandhi Prize award
- Sahitya Akademi Award
- Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
- Bhasha Samman
- Translation Awards
- Anand Coomaraswamy Fellowships
- Premchand Fellowship
- Bharat Ratna
- Padma awards
- Inspired Teacher Awards
- Wartime or Peacetime service and gallantry awards such as Nao Sena Medal, Sena Medal, and Vayusena Medal
- Wartime gallantry awards such as Maha Vir Chakra, Param Vir Chakra, and Vir Chakra are awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether conducted on land, at sea or in the air.
- Peacetime Distinguished Service such as Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, and Vishisht Seva Medal
- Peacetime gallantry awards such as Kirti Chakra, Ashok Chakra Award, and Shaurya Chakra are an Indian military decoration for courage and bravery, action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
- Wartime Distinguished Service such as Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal, and Yudh Seva Medal
National Sports Award
National sports awards such as the Dronacharya award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dhyan Chand Award, and the Arjuna award
- National Bravery Award such as Sanjay Chopra Award, Bharat Award, and Geeta Chopra Award
- Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards such as Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, and Jeevan Raksha Padak
Winners of Padma Vibhushan Awards of 2021
- Shri Shinzo Abe, Former Japanese Prime Minister, received an award for his exceptional and distinguished service in Public Affairs.
- Shri S P Balasubramaniam (Posthumous), a music legend, received an award in art.
- Dr. Belle Monappa Hegde, professional educator, author, and cardiologist, received the Padma Vibhushan award to contribute to medicine.
- Shri Narinder Singh Kapany (Posthumous), an Indian-American physicist, who best contributed to fiber optics’ work, was honoured in Science and Engineering.
- Maulana Wahiduddin Khan is a Peace activist, and an Indian Islamic Scholar honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award in Spiritualism (Others).
- Shri B. B. Lal, an Indian Archaeologist, won the second most prestigious civilian award for his work in excavation at Ramjanmabhoomi in Archeology (Others).
- Shri Sudarshan Sahoo, an Indian sculptor, developed the Sudarshan Crafts Museum in Puri and was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award in art.