Padma Awards

• The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India.

• It is conferred in three categories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Padma awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.

• A Padma Awards Committee is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The recommendations for Padma Awards are received from the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, Central Ministries/Departments, Institutions of Excellence, etc. which are considered by an Awards Committee.

• The Padma awards given to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.

• The award is normally not conferred posthumously. But Government could consider giving an award posthumously in highly deserving cases.

• A higher category of Padma award can be conferred on a person only where a period of at least five years has elapsed since conferment of the earlier Padma award. However, in highly deserving cases, a relaxation can be made by the Awards Committee.

• 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.

• The awards are presented by the President of India usually in the month of March or April every year.

• The Padma Awards were instituted in the year 1954 along with Bharat Ratna Award. In the inaugural year i.e. in 1954, the Padma awards were conferred as Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg.

• In 1955, these were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

• The first recipients of Padma Vibhushan were Satyendra Nath Bose, Nand Lal Bose, Zakir Hussain, Balasaheb Gangadhar Kher, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, and V. K. Krishna Menon, who were honoured in 1954.

• The award includes a certificate signed by the President of India and a medal.