The search committee for the Padma Awards 2017, constituted by the government to locate deserving and talented persons in various fields, has been expanded to include representation from the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The move is meant to address criticism in the media each year over “omission” of persons deserving the awards, officials said.
For the Padma Awards 2014, 2015 and 2016, the search committees consisted of 17 members. This year it has been increased to 19 members.
According to a home ministry circular, “Sometimes on announcement of the awards, criticism of varying intensity appears in the print and electronic media over what may be called omission of certain very deserving persons who richly deserve the award otherwise.”
“In order to address the possibility of omission of highly deserving names from consideration, the government constitutes a search committee every year to locate deserving and talented persons in various fields of activities,” it adds.
While the search committee for Padma Awards 2014 included a member from SAI, the next two years saw a member from the department of sports instead. However, this year, both a joint secretary from the department of sports and a secretary of SAI have been named as members of the committee.
While the joint secretary (administration) in the home ministry was a member of the panel as member secretary for Padma Awards 2014 and 2015, he was not named in the panel for the Padma Awards 2016. This year, he has again been named as member secretary of the panel.