New Delhi: Making it clear that gone are the days when Padma awards were given away to ‘well known nominees backed by recommendation (sifarish),’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, said that his government had transformed the process for selecting Padma award winners and that common people are now being honoured on the basis of work done by them.
In the year’s first ‘Mann ki Baat’ address, Mr Modi said the awards are being bestowed on people “who do not live in big cities and are not visible in newspapers and TV.” He stressed in his monthly radio programme that people are being honoured without a recommendation now.
“Making the (nomination) process online has led to transparency. The selection process for these awards has undergone a transformation,” he said, adding, “If you look at these winners, you will feel proud that such kind of people live in the society and you will also naturally feel proud that they are getting this recognition without any sifarish.”
“Now the identity of the awardee is not the deciding factor of the award, rather the importance of his/her work is increasing,” said Mr Modi.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the works of some of this year’s winners, whose names were announced on the eve of Republic Day. He said that the winners should be invited to schools and colleges so that they could share their experiences and inspire others.
He mentioned that this year’s Padma awardees include Lakshmikutty, a tribal woman from Kerala who prepares herbal medicines, and Arvind Gupta, an IIT Kanpur alumnus who inspired generations of students to learn science from trash.
Society should also go beyond these awards and make efforts to recognise people working selflessly, he further said.

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