New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind will confer the Padma awards to the second batch of 43 Padma awardees at an investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan here today.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh hosted a dinner and addressed them at an interactive session yesterday. He said that the country was proud of all the Padma Awardees as they had a made major contribution to the nation’s progress. Congratulating them, he said that their self-less service was locally recognized till now but with these awards, it received national recognition.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj said that every Padma Awardee worked hard in his or her field without any expectation of returns from the society. She appealed to media to highlight their achievements which were “adbhut, aviswasneeya aur akalpaniya” (Extraordinary, unbelievable and unimaginable). She specially mentioned about the contribution of Awardees from the ASEAN countries.
MoS for Home Shri Kiren Rijiju, Secretary to President of India, Shri Sanjay Kothari, Home Secretary, and Shri Rajiv Gauba were also present on the occasion.
The awards – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri – are announced on the eve of Republic Day every year. These are given in different fields and disciplines such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade, and industry.
This year’s edition of the Padma awards was especially noteworthy as many silent and unsung heroes of India were felicitated.
The government recognized the contributions of 84 people – from a pool of 36,000 nominations – across sections of society, regions, and walks of life. 19 awardees belonged to marginalized communities, including tribals, Dalits, and OBCs, while 24 belonged to minority communities.
Padma awards 2018 were also unique this year with the region-wise distribution of awards. For the first time in six decades, east India led the way, with 24 awardees, followed by the south with 19, the west with 15 and finally, north India with 20 awardees.
The first lot of 43 awardees of the Padma awards 2018 were honored at a special function held on March 20.