Padma Awards - An Overview

The Indian government has instituted two civilian awards- a three-tier Padma Awards and Bharat Ratna in 1954. Padma Award is one of the premier civilian Awards of the nation that are conferred to people who outshine in their corresponding field. Padma awards are given by the President of India at a traditional function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan annually on the Republic Day.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

The Padma Awards was classified into three –Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg, and Tisra Varg. These were successively retitled as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri through a Presidential Notification issued on January 8, 1955.

This article will be very useful for competitive exams like UPSC Exam, SSC Exams, Bank exams, and all state-related exams. Here we are giving all the details about the Padma Awards.


The award is given in three classes, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

Padma Vibhusan

Padma Vibhushan is given for extraordinary and distinguished service. It the second-highest civilian award in India.

Padma Bushan

Padma Bhushan is given for the distinguished service of a high order. It is the third-highest civilian award in India.

Padma Shri

Padma Shri is given for the distinguished service. In the order of civilian awards, it is ranked 4th.

  • The Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 by the Government of India.
  • It is awarded annually in the event of Republic Day
  • The award does not add up to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the recipient’s name.
  • The awardees are given a medallion and a Sanad signed by the President of India.
  • The recipient is also given a small duplication of the medallion, which they can wear in the course of any ceremonial and State functions etc.
  • The names of the Padma award recipient are published in the Gazette of India.
  • The total number of awards to be given in a year should not be more than 120 (not including posthumous awards and to foreigners/ NRI/OCIs).
  • The Padma Awards are given on the recommendations done by the Padma Awards Committee, which is created by the Prime Minister Annually.
  • The Award Committee is supervised by the Cabinet Secretary and comprises of Secretary to the President, Home Secretary, and 4-6 distinguished individuals as members.
  • The proposal of the award committee is tabled to the President of India and the Prime Minister for consent.
  • All individuals deprived of the difference of race, profession, sex or position are entitled to these awards.
  • Foreigners are also entitled to Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards.
  • The Padma award seeks to distinguish works of excellence and is given for and extraordinary achievements in all fields of
    • Art -Painting, Sculpture, Music, Photography, Theatre, Cinema, etc.
    • Civil Service -Excellence in administration
    • Literature and Education -Journalism, Book writing, Teaching, Literature, Poetry, Education Reforms, the upliftment of education and literacy
    • Medicine- Medical research, specialization in Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Siddha, etc.
    • Public Affairs- Law, Politics, Public Life etc.
    • Science and Engineering- Nuclear Science, Information Technology, Space Engineering, Research and Development in Science & its associated subjects, etc.
    • Social work – Charitable service, Social service, contribution to public projects, etc.
    • Sports – Athletics, Adventure, Mountaineering, promotion of sports, Yoga and other Popular Sports.
    • Trade and Industry – Economic Activities, Business, Promotion of Tourism, Banking, Management, etc.
    • Other fields not enclosed above and may comprise propagation of Indian Culture, guarding Human Rights, Wild Life protection, and conservation, etc.
  • The constitutional validity of Padma Awards was challenged in 1992 in Kerala and Madhya Pradesh with respect to the Public interest Litigation filed. Until the issue has resolved in the respective court, the award was suspended.
  • Every year, Padma awards recommendations invite take place between May 1st and September 15.
  • The award is generally not conferred after death. But in highly commendable cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously.
  • One can confer the higher category of Padma award only after completing 5 years after the conferring the earlier Padma award. But, in highly commendable situations, moderation can be made by the Award Committee.
  • No Padma awards were given in the year of 1978, 1979, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 due to the change of government.

Padma Awards 2021

The Padma Awards for the year 2021 were announced on the occasion of 72nd Republic Day.

  1. A total of 119 Padma awards will be conferred, including 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan, and 102 Padma Shri.
  2. Few Padma Vibhushan Awardees 2021 are Shri S P Balasubramaniam (Posthumous),  Shri Shinzo Abe (Japan), Dr. Belle Monappa Hegde (Medicine), Shri Sudarshan Sahoo (Art), etc.
  3. Ms. Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, Shri Tarun Gogoi, Ms. Sumitra Mahajan, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, etc. are a few Padma Bhushan Awardees 2021
  4. Some of the Padma Shri Awardees (out of 102) Shri Gulfam Ahmed (Art), Ms. P. Anitha (Sports), Shri Rama Swamy Annavarapu (Art), etc.

Candidates can check the official List of Padma Awards 2021 recipients on the PDF provided below –

Recipients of Padma Awards 2021 PDF Download PDF Here

List of Padma Awards 2020 – Recipients

In the year 2020 the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards. 33 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 Posthumous awardees.

Go through the list of Padma Awardees 2020 given below –

Padma Vibhushan 2020
  1. Shri George Fernandes (Posthumous)
  2. Shri Arun Jaitley (Posthumous)
  3. Sir Anerood Jugnauth GCSK
  4. Smt. M. C. Mary Kom
  5. Shri Chhannulal Mishra
  6. Smt. Sushma Swaraj (Posthumous)
  7. Sri Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri, Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (Posthumous)
  1. Public Affairs Bihar
  2. Public Affairs Delhi
  3. Public Affairs Mauritius
  4. Sports Manipur
  5. Art Uttar Pradesh
  6. Public Affairs Delhi
  7. Others-Spiritualism Karnataka
Padma Bhushan 2020
  1. Shri M. Mumtaz Ali (Sri M) Others
  2. Shri Syed Muazzem Ali (Posthumous)
  3. Shri Muzaffar Hussain Baig
  4. Shri Ajoy Chakravorty
  5. Shri Manoj Das
  6. Shri Balkrishna Doshi
  7. Ms. Krishnammal Jagannathan
  8. Shri S. C. Jamir
  9. Shri Anil Prakash Joshi 
  10. Dr. Tsering Landol 
  11. Shri Anand Mahindra
  12. Shri Neelakanta Ramakrishna Madhava Menon (Posthumous)
  13. Shri Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar (Posthumous)
  14. Prof. Jagdish Sheth
  15. Ms. P. V. Sindhu
  16. Shri Venu Srinivasan
  1. Spiritualism Kerala
  2. Public Affairs Bangladesh
  3. Public Affairs Jammu and Kashmir
  4. Art West Bengal
  5. Literature and Education Puducherry
  6. Others-Architecture Gujarat
  7. Social Work Tamil Nadu
  8. Public Affairs Nagaland
  9. Social Work Uttarakhand
  10. Medicine Ladakh
  11. Trade and Industry Maharashtra
  12. Public Affairs Kerala
  13. Public Affairs Goa
  14. Literature and Education USA
  15. Sports Telangana
  16. Trade and Industry Tamil Nadu
Padma Shri 2020
  1. Guru Shashadhar Acharya
  2. Dr. Yogi Aeron
  3. Shri Jai Prakash Agarwal
  4. Shri Jagdish Lal Ahuja 
  5. Kazi Masum Akhtar
  6. Ms. Gloria Arieira
  7. Khan Zaheerkhan Bakhtiyarkhan
  8. Dr. Padmavathy Bandopadhyay
  9. Dr. Sushovan Banerjee
  10. Dr. Digambar Behera
  11. Dr. Damayanti Beshra
  12. Shri Pawar Popatrao Bhaguji
  13. Shri Himmata Ram Bhambhu
  14. Shri Sanjeev Bikhchandani
  15. Shri Gafurbhai M. Bilakhia 
  16. Shri Bob Blackman 
  17. Ms. Indira P. P. Bora 
  1. Art Jharkhand
  2. Medicine Uttarakhand
  3. Trade and Industry Delhi
  4. Social Work Punjab
  5. Literature and Education West Bengal
  6. Literature and Education Brazil
  7. Sports Maharashtra
  8. Medicine Uttar Pradesh
  9. Medicine West Bengal
  10. Medicine Chandigarh
  11. Literature and Education Odisha
  12. Social Work Maharashtra
  13. Social Work Rajasthan
  14. Trade and Industry Uttar Pradesh
  15. Trade and Industry Gujarat
  16. Public Affairs United Kingdom
  17. Art Assam

Aspirants can download the full list of 141 Padma Awardees 2020 on the pdf provided below-

Reciients of Padma Awards 2020 PDF Download PDF Here

List of Padma Awards 2019 – Recipients

Padma Awards Recipients
Padma Vibhushan Ms. Teejan Bai

Shri Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner)

Shri Anilkumar Manibhai Naik

Shri Balwant Moreshwar Purandare

Padma Bhushan Shri John Chambers (Foreigner)

Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa

Shri Pravin Gordhan (Foreigner)

Shri Mahashay Dharam Pal Gulati

Shri Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade

Shri Kariya Munda

Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee

Shri Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair

Shri S Nambi Narayan

Shri Kuldip Nayar (Posthumous)

Ms. Bachendri Pal

Shri V K Shunglu

Shri Hukumdev Narayan Yadav

Padma Shri Rajeshwar Acharya – Art-Vocal-Hindustani – Uttar Pradesh

Bangaru Adigalar – Spiritualism – Tamil Nadu

Illias Ali – Medicine-Surgery – Assam

Manoj Bajpayee – Art-Acting-Films – Maharashtra

Uddhab Kumar Bharali – Science & Engineering-Grassroots Innovation – Assam

Omesh Kumar Bharti – Medicine (Rabies) – Himachal Pradesh

Pritam Bhartwan – Art-Vocals-Folk – Uttarakhand

Jyoti Bhatt – Art-Painting – Gujarat

Dilip Chakravarty – Archaeology – Delhi

Mammen Chandy – Medicine (Hematology) – West Bengal

Swapan Chaudhuri – Art-Music-Tabla – West Bengal

Kanwal Singh Chauhan – Agriculture – Haryana

Sunil Chhetri – Sports (Football) – Telangana

Dinyar Contractor – Art-Acting-Theatre – Maharashtra

Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli – Social Work (Divyang Welfare) – Gujarat

Babulal Dahiya – Agriculture – Madhya Pradesh

List of Padma Awards & Awardees 2019:- Download PDF Here

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions on Facts About Padma Awards

Q 1. What are the Padma Awards?

Ans. Instituted in the year 1954, the Padma Awards, are announced every year on the 26th of January. They are divided into three categories:
  • Padma Vibhushan
  • Padma Bhushan
  • Padma Shri

Q 2. Who picks the Padma Award winners?

Ans. Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister; is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and also comprises Home Secretary, Secretary to the President and four to six eminent persons as members pick the award winners every year.

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