Padma Award Nominations Surge 28-Fold Since 2014, Affirms PM Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’
In his inaugural ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address of 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated the transformative evolution witnessed in the process of conferring Padma Awards under his stewardship. He proudly declared that this year’s nominations for the prestigious civilian honors surged by an astounding 28 times compared to 2014, showcasing a significant shift in the awards’ accessibility and inclusivity.
Emphasizing the changing landscape of Padma Awards, PM Modi hailed the transformation that has turned it into the “People’s Padma.” He highlighted the extensive reforms implemented in the nomination process, including provisions for self-nominations, which have democratized the selection process. This democratization, PM Modi noted, contributed to the unprecedented rise in nominations, indicating a substantial elevation in the Padma Awards’ stature, credibility, and public respect over the years.
The Padma Awards, instituted in 1954, stand as one of India’s highest civilian honors, recognizing exceptional contributions and distinguished service across various fields. The awards, categorized into Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri, honor individuals who have demonstrated exemplary achievements and made significant contributions to society, reflecting the nation’s appreciation for their endeavors.
This year’s Padma Vibhushan recipients include former Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, as well as the late social reformer Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International. Additionally, renowned figures such as actress Vyjayantimala Bali, actor Chiranjeevi, and Bharata Natyam dancer Padma Subrahmanyam were honored with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, underscoring their immense contributions to Indian arts and culture.
The esteemed Padma Bhushan was conferred upon distinguished individuals from various fields, including Bollywood veteran Mithun Chakraborty, iconic singer Usha Uthup, and former Supreme Court justice M Fathima Beevi (posthumously), among others. Their enduring impact and significant achievements have left an indelible mark on their respective domains, enriching the cultural fabric of the nation.
The Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, was bestowed upon a diverse array of individuals, including Khalil Ahamad, Badrappan M, Rezwana Choudhury Bannya, and Ramlal Bareth, among others. Their outstanding contributions spanning different fields reflect the country’s cultural diversity and spirit of innovation.
This year’s list of Padma Awardees comprises a total of 132 names, including five Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan, and 110 Padma Shri Awards. Notably, the list features 30 women recipients, as well as eight individuals from the categories of foreign non-resident Indian (NRI), person of Indian origin (PIO), and overseas citizenship of India (OCI). Additionally, the list pays homage to nine posthumous awardees, recognizing their enduring legacy and contribution to the nation.
The selection process for Padma Awards is meticulously overseen by the Padma Awards Committee, headed by the Cabinet Secretary and comprising eminent members from various fields. The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval, ensuring transparency and integrity in the awarding process.
In summary, the surge in Padma Award nominations symbolizes a paradigm shift towards greater inclusivity and recognition of diverse contributions to society. As India celebrates the achievements of its illustrious citizens, the Padma Awards continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration and appreciation, honoring individuals who have made exceptional strides in enriching the nation’s cultural, social, and economic fabric.
The exponential increase in Padma Award nominations underlines the profound impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership on the nation’s recognition of excellence and service. His commitment to reforming the award process has not only democratized the selection criteria but also amplified the voices of deserving individuals across diverse fields.
The elevation of Padma Awards to the status of “People’s Padma” reflects a fundamental shift in the ethos of recognition, where merit and contribution take precedence over privilege or patronage. By opening the nomination process to self-nominations and expanding the pool of eligible candidates, PM Modi has empowered individuals from all walks of life to vie for this prestigious honor, fostering a culture of inclusivity and meritocracy.
The surge in nominations signifies a groundswell of appreciation and respect for the Padma Awards, reaffirming their significance as symbols of national pride and achievement. As more deserving individuals come forward to be considered for the awards, the selection committee is presented with a diverse array of candidates, each with a compelling story of excellence and service to share.
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