Recommendations of eight state governments, seven governors, 14 Union ministers did not find any place in this year’s Padma awards, which will be conferred on March 20 and April 2. According to Home Ministry documents, as many as 35,595 recommendations or nominations were received for the Padma awards 2018, which were announced on January 25, from state governments, governors, chief ministers, Union ministers, Union ministers of state, former Padma awardees, individuals and organisations.
Out of these names, only 84 prominent people were shortlisted for the prestigious civilian honours. Majority of those who find place in the final list, prepared by a 10-member selection committee, were considered “unsung heroes”, who have dedicated their lives to working for the poor or have risen from deprived backgrounds to excel in their own fields, a Home Ministry official said.
However, all recommendations of eight state governments – Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi – were rejected by the selection committee. Tamil Nadu had recommended six names, Haryana had recommended five names, Jammu and Kashmir had recommended nine names, Karnataka had recommended 44 names, Uttarakhand had recommended 15 names, Bihar had recommended four names, Rajasthan had recommended four names and Delhi had recommended seven names for the Padma awards.
Nominations by seven Governors – West Bengal’s Keshari Nath Tripathi (11 recommendations), Haryana’s Kaptan Singh Solanki (seven recommendations), Jammu and Kashmir’s N N Vohra (four recommendations), Uttar Pradesh’s Ram Naik (10 recommendations), Gujarat’s O P Kohli (two recommendations), Kerala’s P Sathasivam (two recommendations) and Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi (one recommendation) did not find place in the Padma awards
Recommendations of seven Union Cabinet ministers — Arun Jaitey (one recommendation), Maneka Gandhi (four), Prakash Javadekar (six), Ram Vilas Paswan (four), Suresh Prabhu (12), Thawar Chand Gehlot (16), did not find place in the final list of this year’s Padma awardees, according to the home ministry documents, accessed by PTI, on the recommendations and nominations for the Padma awards 2018.
Only one nomination of Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, out of 10, was accepted by the Padma award selection committee. None of the recommendations of eight Union Ministers of State – Arjun Ram Meghwal (four nominations), Ashwini Kumar Choubey (two), C R Chaudhary (three), Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary (two), Giriraj Singh (two), Mahesh Sharma (eight), Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (two) and Ram Kripal Yadav (four) – were accepted by the selection committee.
Among the state governments whose a few recommendations were accepted are: Assam (one recommendation out of 12), Chhattisgarh (one out of 13), Uttar Pradesh (one out of seven), Madhya Pradesh (one out of nine), Kerala (one out of 41) and Maharashtra (three out of 84). While all two nominations of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar were rejected, one out of eight recommendations of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh find place in the final list of Padma awardees.
This year the President of India has approved conferment of 84 Padma awards including two duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises three Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan and 72 Padma Shri awards. The 2018 Padma awards selection committee comprised with Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P K Mishra, former Union minister Arif Mohammad Khan, Rajya Sabha member Swapan Dasgupta, cricketer Anil Kumble, former chairperson of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya, singer Shekhar Sen and Harivansh.
The government had also constituted a 19 member inter-ministerial search committee for the Padma awards, which was headed by an additional secretary in the home ministry. The Padma awards are given to recognise works of distinction and exceptional achievements in different fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry. Padma awards 2018 will be conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind on March 20 and April 2 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.