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'Controversial' Padma Awards: Supreme Court should intervene
It should be investigated why consent of noted singer S Janki was not taken when it is mandatory to seek consent of awardees before announcing their names for Padma awards. Dissatisfaction of wrestler Sushil Kumar and others for not upgrading Padmashree awarded last year is the result of undesired relaxation given to certain individuals by not sticking to five-year gap between two variants of Padma awards.

Rather, it is improper to grade just 100 Padma awardees in three variants in a country of more than a billion, thereby degrading real value of Padmashree in presence of Padmabhushan and Padmavibhushan. There should be just one variant of Padma award. A person should be honoured just once in life-time with Padma award.

Hectic lobbying for Padma awards has become an unavoidable feature, especially in fields like Medicine, and Trade and Industry, because these awards monetarily benefit the awardees by sudden increase in their earnings after the awards.

There is a need of a separate study into the income-rise of Padma awardees after they are honoured. Union government suddenly found merits in a medical practitioner after he operated on the then Prime Minister. Awards Committee is nothing, but a rubber-stamp, when its ten members unanimously decide on 100 names out of 1300 names in its meetings of just few hours!

It is practically possible when a pre-decided government-list is put before the committee giving it also a right to include any name in last hours without reaching it by last date of receipt of nominations. It may be recalled that once even telephonic confirmations were taken from individual members of Awards Committee to fulfill formality to meet Supreme Court guidelines. Consent of opposition leader in selecting members of Awards Committee should be made mandatory with Secretary of Opposition leader being a member of Awards Committee.

Names of recommended ones and of those recommending should be put on the website after last date of receipt of nominations so that members of public, knowing adverse features of recommended persons, may inform the authorities. Public should also know names of persons recommending such undeserving recommended personalities.

Complete process of selection of Padma awardees including minutes of meetings of Search and Award committees should be put on the website after 26th January. System should be made stringent to take back the prestigious award and punishing those responsible ones at Intelligence agencies which clear such names without proper investigations.

It seems that such hurried clearance is done in the name of formality because of very little time given for proper verification. System should be made to advance last date of receiving recommendations to say 30th September by getting proper clearance for all recommendations before putting the cleared names before Awards committee meeting. It is time for Supreme Court to re-intervene in respect of Padma awards also by ordering a total review of Padma Awards of this year by a new Awards Committee.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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