In a bid to make the Padma awards more democratic and transparent, the government has now made it possible for any Indian to nominate a person for the honour. All they need to have is an Aadhaar number and access to the internet.
The idea of opening up the awards to the common people is aimed at identifying lesser known achievers and unsung heroes of the society.
"Simple online nomination encourages and facilitates all Indian citizens to participate," an NDTV report said, quoting a source.
For this purpose, you need to log on to the website (padmaawards.gov.in), where the instructions are available for citizens to file nominations. After the basic registration which will entail entering your mobile and Aadhaar card number, you can file nominations along with pictures and recommendation letters.
With this move, the government is also doing away with nominations filed in the form of physical letters or individual emails. The Electronic Management System will serve as a one stop portal for authorities as well as citizens for nominating someone.
Previously, nominations could only be made by the state governments, UTs Ministries, Departments of the Government of India, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, Central and State Ministers, Chief Ministers and Governors of State, Members of Parliament, according to a report in The Hindu.
The Center, in a letter to the state governments on April 29, said that the Padma award is the second highest civilian honour in the country and they should consider if the person they are nominating has already received some form of recognition at the national or state level.
"It has been observed in the past that while nominations are received in respect of a large number of persons, there could, however be several talented persons who are left out of consideration despite exceptional contribution in their field. Often many of these persons may get overlooked primarily for the reason that they may not seek publicity or attention in the public domain," the Center said, according to anEconomic Times report.