Civilian Awards of India

The Padma Awards announced annually on the eve of Republic Day are one of the highest civilian honours of India. The awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. They are given in various disciplines/fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc., where an element of public service is involved. 


These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year. This year the President of India has approved conferment of 112 Padma Awards including one duo case (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one) as per list below. The list comprises 4 Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri Awards. 21 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 11 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI, 3 Posthumous awardees and 1 transgender person.


The Padma Awards are conferred on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The nomination process is open to the public. Even self-nomination can be made.


History and Relevance


The Government of India instituted two civilian awards-Bharat Ratna & Padma Vibhushan in 1954. The latter had three classes namely Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. These were subsequently renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri vide Presidential Notification issued on January 8, 1955.


Bharat Ratna


Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country. It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. It is treated on a different footing from Padma Award. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India. No formal recommendations for Bharat Ratna are necessary. The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year. Government has conferred Bharat Ratna Award on 45 persons till date.

Padma Awards


Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, is announced every year on the occasion of Republic Day except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997.


The award is given in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of a high order; and Padma Shri for distinguished service.


All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards. However, Government servants including those working with PSUs, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for these Awards.


The award seeks to recognize works of distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines. An illustrative list of the fields is as under:


  1. Art (includes Music, Painting, Sculpture, Photography, Cinema, Theatre etc.)
  2. Social work (includes social service, charitable service, contribution in community projects etc.)
  3. Public Affairs (includes Law, Public Life, Politics etc.)
  4. Science & Engineering (includes Space Engineering, Nuclear Science, Information Technology, Research & Development in Science & its allied subjects etc.)
  5. Trade & Industry (includes Banking, Economic Activities, Management, Promotion of Tourism, Business etc.)
  6. Medicine (includes medical research, distinction/specialization in Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Sidhha, Allopathy, Naturopathy etc.)
  7. Literature & Education (includes Journalism, Teaching, Book composing, Literature, Poetry, Promotion of education, Promotion of literacy, Education Reforms etc.)
  8. Civil Service (includes distinction/excellence in administration etc. by Government Servants)
  9. Sports (includes popular Sports, Athletics, Adventure, Mountaineering, promotion of sports, Yoga etc.)
  10. Others (fields not covered above and may include propagation of Indian Culture, protection of Human Rights, Wild Life protection/conservation etc.)


The award is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.


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 awards are presented by the President of India usually in the month of March/April every year where the awardees are presented a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion.


The recipients are also given a small replica of the medallion, which they can wear during any ceremonial/State functions etc., if the awardees so desire. The names of the awardees are published in the Gazette of India on the day of the presentation ceremony.


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 award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the awardees’ name.


Who decides


All nominations received for Padma Awards are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. The Padma Awards Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and includes Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members. The recommendations of the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval.


2019 Awardees


Details of 2019 Awardees announced on 25-1-2019 are furnished below.


Bharat Ratna


1. Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) (Social Activist)

2. Dr Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) (Playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker)

3. Shri Pranab Mukherjee (Former President of India)


Padma Vibhushan


1. Ms. Teejan Bai (Art-Vocals-Folk, Chhattisgarh)

2. Shri Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner) (Public Affairs, Djibouti)

3. Shri Anilkumar Manibhai Naik (Trade & Industry, Infrastructure, Maharashtra)

4. Shri Balwant Moreshwar Purandare (Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra)


Padma Bhushan (14)


5. Shri John Chambers (Foreigner) (Trade & Industry, Technology, USA)

6. Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (Public Affairs, Punjab)

7. Shri Pravin Gordhan (Foreigner) Public Affairs South Africa

8. Shri Mahashay Dharam Pal Gulati Trade & IndustryFood Processing Delhi

9. Shri Darshan Lal Jain Social Work Haryana

10. Shri Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade Medicine-Affordable Healthcare Maharashtra

11. Shri Kariya Munda Public Affairs Jharkhand

12. Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee Art-Music-Sitar West Bengal

13. Shri Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair (Art-Acting-Film, Kerala)

14. Shri S Nambi Narayan (Science & Engineering-Space, Kerala)

15. Shri Kuldip Nayar (Posthumous) (Literature & Education (Journalism) Delhi)

16. Ms. Bachendri Pal (Sports-Mountaineering Uttarakhand)

17. Shri V K Shunglu (Civil Service, Delhi)

18. Shri Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (Public Affairs, Bihar)


Padma Shri (94)


19. Shri Rajeshwar Acharya (Art-Vocal-Hindustani, Uttar Pradesh)

20. Shri Bangaru Adigalar (Others-Spiritualism, Tamil Nadu)

21. Shri Illias Ali (Medicine-Surgery, Assam)

22. Shri Manoj Bajpayee (Art-Acting-Films, Maharashtra)

23. Shri Uddhab Kumar Bharali (Science & Engineering, Grassroots Innovation, Assam)

24. Shri Omesh Kumar Bharti (Medicine-Rabies, Himachal Pradesh)

25. Shri Pritam Bhartwan (Art-Vocals-Folk, Uttarakhand)

26. Shri Jyoti Bhatt (Art-Painting, Gujarat)

27. Shri Dilip Chakravarty (Others-Archaeology, Delhi)

28. Shri Mammen Chandy (Medicine-Hematology, West Bengal)

29. Shri Swapan Chaudhuri (Art-Music-Tabla, West Bengal)

30. Shri Kanwal Singh Chauhan (Others-Agriculture, Haryana)

31. Shri Sunil Chhetri (Sports-Football, Telangana)

32. Shri Dinyar Contractor (Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra)

33. Ms. Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli (Social Work-Divyang Welfare, Gujarat)

34. Shri Babulal Dahiya (Others-Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh)

35. Shri Thanga Darlong (Art-Music-Flute, Tripura)

36. Shri Prabhu Deva (Art-Dance, Karnataka)

37. Ms. Rajkumari Devi (Others-Agriculture, Bihar)

38. Ms. Bhagirathi Devi (Public Affairs, Bihar)

39. Shri Baldev Singh Dhillon (Science & Engineering, Agriculture, Punjab)

40. Ms. Harika Dronavalli (Sports-Chess, Andhra Pradesh)

41. Ms. Godawari Dutta (Art-Painting, Bihar)

42. Shri Gautam Gambhir (Sports-Cricket, Delhi)

43. Ms. Draupadi Ghimiray (Social Work-Divyang Welfare, Sikkim)

44. Ms. Rohini Godbole (Science & Engineering-Nuclear, Karnataka)

45. Shri Sandeep Guleria (Medicine-Surgery, Delhi)

46. Shri Pratap Singh Hardia (Medicine-Ophthmology, Madhya Pradesh)

47. Shri Bulu Imam (Social Work-Culture, Jharkhand)

48. Ms. Friederike Irina (Foreigner) (Social Work-Animal Welfare, Germany)

49. Shri Joravarsinh Jadav (Art-Dance Folk, Gujarat)

50. Shri S Jaishankar (Civil Service, Delhi)

51. Shri Narsingh Dev Jamwal (Literature & Education, Jammu & Kashmir)

52. Shri Fayaz Ahmad Jan (Art-Craft-Papier Mache, Jammu & Kashmir)

53. Shri K G Jayan (Art-Music-Bhakti, Kerala)

54. Shri Subhash Kak (Foreigner) (Science & Engineering, Technology, USA)

55. Shri Sharath Kamal (Sports-Table Tennis, Tamil Nadu)

56. Shri Rajani Kant (Social Work, Uttar Pradesh)

57. Shri Sudam Kate (Medicine-Sickle Cell Maharashtra)

58. Shri Waman Kendre (Art-Acting-Theatre, Maharashtra)

59. Shri Kader Khan (Posthumous-Foreigner) (Art-Acting-Films Canada)

60. Shri Abdul Gafur Khatri (Art-Painting, Gujarat)

61. Shri Ravindra Kolhe (Duo)* (Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Maharashtra & Ms.  

      Smita Kolhe (Duo)* (Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Maharashtra)

62. Ms. Bombayla Devi Laishram (Sports-Archery, Manipur)

63. Shri Kailash Madbaiya (Literature & Education, Madhya Pradesh)

64. Shri Ramesh Babaji Maharaj (Social Work-Animal Welfare, Uttar Pradesh)

65. Shri Vallabhbhai Vasrambhai Marvaniya (Others-Agriculture, Gujarat)

66. Ms. Gita Mehta (Foreigner) (Literature & Education, USA)

67. Shri Shadab Mohammad (Medicine-Dentistry, Uttar Pradesh)

68. Shri K K Muhammed (Others-Archaeology, Kerala)

69. Shri Shyama Prasad Mukherjee (Medicine-Affordable Healthcare, Jharkhand

70. Shri Daitari Naik (Social Work, Odisha)

71. Shri Shankar Mahadevan Narayan (Art-Vocals-Films Maharashtra)

72. Shri Shantanu Narayen (Foreigner) (Trade & Industry, Technology, USA)

73. Nartaki Natraj Art (Dance-Bharatnatyam, Tamil Nadu)

74. Shri Tsering Norboo (Medicine-Surgery, Jammu & Kashmir)

75. Shri Anup Ranjan Pandey (Art-Music, Chhattisgarh)

76. Shri Jagdish Prasad Parikh (Others-Agriculture, Rajasthan)

77. Shri Ganpatbhai Patel (Foreigner) (Literature & Education, USA)

78. Shri Bimal Patel (Others-Architecture, Gujarat)

79. Shri Hukumchand Patidar (Others-Agriculture, Rajasthan)

80. Shri Harvinder Singh Phoolka (Public Affairs, Punjab)

81. Ms. Madurai Chinna Pillai (Social Work-Microfinance, Tamil Nadu)

82. Ms. Tao Porchon-Lynch (Foreigner) (Others-Yoga, USA)

83. Ms. Kamala Pujhari (Others-Agriculture, Odisha)

84. Shri Bajrang Punia (Sports-Wrestling, Haryana)

85. Shri Jagat Ram (Medicine-Ophthalmology, Chandigarh)

86. Shri R V Ramani (Medicine-Ophthalmology, Tamil Nadu)

87. Shri Devarapalli Prakash Rao (Social Work-Affordable Education, Odisha)

88. Shri Anup Sah (Art-Photography, Uttarakhand)

89. Ms. Milena Salvini (Foreigner) (Art-Dance-Kathakali, France)

90. Shri Nagindas Sanghavi (Literature & Education-Journalism, Maharashtra)

91. Shri Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry (Art-Lyrics, Telangana)

92. Shri Shabbir Sayyad (Social Work-Animal Welfare, Maharashtra)

93. Shri Mahesh Sharma (Social Work-Tribal Welfar, Madhya Pradesh)

94. Shri Mohammad Hanif Khan Shastri (Literature & Education Delhi)

95. Shri Brijesh Kumar Shukla (Literature & Education Uttar Pradesh)

96. Shri Narendra Singh (Others-Animal Husbandry, Haryana)

97. Ms. Prashanti Singh (Sports-Basketball, Uttar Pradesh)

98. Shri Sultan Singh (Others-Animal Husbandry, Haryana)

99. Shri Jyoti Kumar Sinha (Social Work-Affordable Education. Bihar)

100. Shri Anandan Sivamani (Art-Music, Tamil Nadu)

101. Ms. Sharada Srinivasan (Others-Archaeology, Karnataka)

102. Shri Devendra Swarup (Posthumous) (Literature & Education-Journalism Uttar Pradesh)

103. Shri Ajay Thakur (Sports-Kabaddi,  Himachal Pradesh)

104. Shri Rajeev Tharanath (Art-Music-Sarod, Karnataka)

105. Ms. Saalumarada Thimmakka (Social Work-Environment, Karnataka)

106. Ms. Jamuna Tudu (Social Work, Environment Jharkhand)

107. Shri Bharat Bhushan Tyagi (Others-Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh)

108. Shri Ramaswami Venkataswami (Medicine-Surgery, Tamil Nadu)

109. Shri Ram Saran Verma (Others-Agriculture, Uttar Pradesh)

110. Shri Swami Vishudhananda (Others-Spiritualism, Kerala)

111. Shri Hiralal Yadav (Art-Vocals-Folk, Uttar Pradesh)

112. Shri Venkateswara Rao Yadlapalli (Others-Agriculture, Andhra Pradesh)


Note: * indicates duo case. (counted as one award)


Annulment of awards


While there are no specific criteria for withdrawing a Padma award, the President of India, per the awards' statutes, may cancel and annul any award in the case of any misconduct committed by the recipient. At least three awards of the Padma Shri have been so annulled, twice in 1958 for recipients residing in the state of Punjab and once in 1974 for a recipient residing in the state of Gujarat.


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