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.