New Delhi, Oct 11 (PTI) Nearly 50,000 nominations for the 2019 Padma awards, which are given for work of distinction and exceptional achievement in different fields, have been received by the Home Ministry.

The record number of 49,992 nominations for the Padma awards received is 32 times higher over the nominations received in 2010 when just 1,313 nominations were received from general public, a home ministry statement said.

In 2017, the total number of nominations received was 35,595 and in 2016 the number was 18,768.

While 84 distinguished people were honoured with the Padma awards in 2018, a total of 89 prominent people were given the awards in 2017.

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

The award seeks to recognise ‘work of distinction’ and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements and service in all fields and disciplines, such as, art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry etc.

All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.

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

The government has transformed the Padma awards into a ‘People’s Awards’ in true sense. People are encouraged to nominate unsung heroes who deserve these top civilian awards, the statement said.

The nomination process for Padma Awards was made online in the year 2016; and a simple, accessible and secure online platform was put in place to encourage citizens to participate in large numbers.

The technological intervention that has made the nomination process accessible to the people at large and the emphasis of the government to confer Padma Awards upon unsung heroes, who are doing selfless service to the nation, have resulted in a transformation.

The online nomination process for the Padma awards to be announced on the occasion of Republic Day, 2019 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, union territories, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, institutes of excellence as also from several other sources to enable broad-based consideration.

All citizens can make nominations and recommendation including self-nomination.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.