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‘Elitist’ no more: Nominations for Padmas rise 40% to 50,000 | India News

NEW DELHI: Close to 50,000 nominations for Padma awards were received this year, almost 40% more than those received by the home ministry in 2017. The ministry on Thursday said 49,992 nominations had been received within the September 15, 2018 deadline, as against 35,595 received in 2017, 18,768 in 2016 and 1,313 in 2010.

The government on Thursday sought to attribute the growing popular interest in Padma Awards to its conscious efforts to transform the once ‘elitist’ awards, bagged mostly by those close to the Delhi’s power set, to ‘people’s awards’ meant to celebrate unknown and unsung achievers in remote corners of India.

As part of its bid to make the selection for Padma awards more broad-based, the government had made the nomination process online in 2016. People were encouraged to nominate unsung heroes who genuinely deserved the civilian honour.

A simple, accessible and secure online platform was put in place to encourage citizens to participate in the nomination process in large numbers. The technological intervention that made the nomination process accessible and the emphasis of the government to confer Padma Awards achievers doing selfless service to the nation, resulted in a transformation, claimed home ministry officials.

The online nomination process for Padma Awards 2019, to be announced on Republic Day, had commenced on May 1, 2018 and the last date for submission of nominations was September 15, 2018. Nominations were invited from central ministries/departments, states/UT governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, Institutes of Excellence and several other sources to enable broad-based consideration.

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