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In the year 1954, three Awards viz PADMA VIBHUSHAN, PADMA BHUSAN and PADMA SRI were established by the Government of India with a focus to identify and recognize works or activities of eminent dignitaries for their contributions to the Society. These Awards are for (a) 'Exceptional and Distinguished service' - Padma Vibhushan; (b) 'Distinguished service of a high order for Padma Bhushan and (c) 'Distinguished service' for Padma Sri. These awards seek to recognize work of any distinction and is considered for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in any fields of activities/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Health, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry, Information Technology etc etc. Padma Awards had brief interruption(s) during the years 1978 and 1979 and 1993 to 1997 when there were no announcements of these awards but since 1997, these awards are announced every year on
Republic day. All persons are considered for the award, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, occupation, sex, age. But only Indian Nationals are considered. However, there are exceptions for Nationality in the past as other than Indians are given the awards for their contribution to Indian Society. The unique feature of Padma Award is that it is normally not conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award posthumously if the demise of the dignitary proposed to be honored is recent, say within a period of one year preceding the Republic Day on which it is proposed to announce the award.
Padma Awards Committee
Invitations are sent to all States/Union Territories, Departmental Heads of various Union Ministries and premier Institutions as also to previous Bharat Ratna / Padma awardees. The recommendations for Padma Awards are received from the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, Central Ministries/Departments, Institutions of Excellence, etc. which are considered by the Padma Awards Committee. On the basis of the recommendations of the Padma Awards Committee and after approval of the Home Minister, they are submitted to the Prime Minister. After the approval of the Prime Minister, they are forwarded to the Indian President who may accept the recommendations if he/she finds fit or reject them. The Padma Awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day. The Awards are conferred to the distinguished dignitaries sometime during March / April every year.
Padma Vibhushan Award
Padma Vibhushan Award established on 2nd January 1954 ranks second to Bharat Ratna in Indian Republic. The awards are conferred at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan by the Indian President at a well attended and special function organized for the purpose. So far 274 eminent personalities are recognized for the Padma Vibhushan Award including the recent announcement made on 26th January 2011. Out of the total awardees, 8 are Malayalees recognized for their great contributions to the Indian Society in various spheres of activity. A brochure covering full details of the award winner is released on the day of the Investiture ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan The decoration comprises a Sanad (Certificate) issued under the hand and seal of the President and a Medallion. The awardees are also given a replica of the medallion which, if they desire, can be clipped to their Dress at the ceremonial function. The uniqueness of the Padma Vbhushan award is that the award does not amount to a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the award. The contributions of the Malayalee Padma Vibhushan awardees are extremely great and wonderful and all of them do deserve the second highest award of the Naion. The list of Malayalee Awardees is attached and can be downloaded for reference and for up-dating purpose in future.