New Delhi, May 2 (PTI) The process of honouring people with Padma awards next year for their works of distinction and exceptional achievement in different fields has begun with the Union home ministry inviting nominations.

The last date for receipt of the nominations for the top civilian honours is September 15, 2018, according to a notification issued by the ministry yesterday.

The awards seek to recognise commendable works and exceptional achievements in fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry.

The nominations or recommendations for the awards will be received online only on the Padma portal www.padmaawards.gov.in.

All citizens can make nominations or recommendation, including self-nomination. The nominations or recommendations should contain all relevant details specified in the format available on the website, including a citation in a narrative form not exceeding 800 words clearly bringing out the distinguished and exceptional achievements, the notification said.

For the last two years, the Modi government has been giving emphasis on honouring unsung heroes who deserve these prestigious awards.

Nominations have been invited from central ministries, departments, states/Union Territory governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, institutes of excellence and others to enable broad-based consideration.

The home ministry has requested them to make concerted efforts in identifying talented persons whose excellence and achievements really deserve to be recognised, and make suitable nominations in their favour.

While the Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; the Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and the Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

The ministry has requested all ministries, departments and state governments that efforts may be made to identify talented persons from among women, weaker sections of the society, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and disabled persons, who deserve to be considered for the award.

Government servants including those working with public sector undertakings, except doctors and scientists, are not eligible for the Padma awards.

Instituted in 1954, these awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.