In honour of the unsung heroes: The Padma Awards of 2018

Padma  Awards are one of the highest civilian awards of the country. They were instituted in the year 1954, and except for brief interruptions during the years 1978, 1979, and between 1993 and 1997, these awards have been announced every year on the Republic Day i.e., on 26th of January.

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

  • Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished sevice’.
  • Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service’ of a high order.
  • Padma Shri is awarded for ‘distinguished service’ in any field.

The award seeks to recognize work of any distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines, such as Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry, etc. The award is not normally conferred posthumously. However, in highly deserving cases, the Government could consider giving an award post humously if the demise of the person proposed to be honored has been recent, say within a period of one year preceding the Republic Day on which it is to be announced.

The Padma Awards are given on the recommendations 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 the 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.

Recently, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that- “You will be proud of the fact that today, the common man is being cited for Padma Awards without any recommendations. There was a certain methodology of awarding Padma Awards every year, but this entire process has been changed for the past three years. Now, any citizen can nominate any person in our country. Transparency has been brought about in the entire process by making it operable online. You may have noticed that many ordinary people, not visible in big cities, in newspapers or on TV are being awarded with Padma citations. Now, the identity of the awardee is not the deciding factor of the award, rather the importance of her/his work is”.

The awardees are given a medallion and a Sanad signed by the President of India.The recipients are also given a small duplication of the medallion, which they can wear in the course of any ceremonial and State functions etc.

To honour the ‘unsung heroes’, this year, the government announced 85 Padma awards on Thursday (25th of January). Of these, three were Padma Vibhushan, nine Padma Bhushan, and 73 Padma Shri. 16 awardees were either foreigners, PIOs, or NRIs, while three of the awards were conferred posthumously.Over 15,700 applications were received for this year’s awards.

Senior RSS ideologue P Parameswaran, who was instrumental in building the Sangh cadre in Kerala, was conferred the Padma Vibhushan.Music composer Illaiyaraja and Ghulam Mustafa Khan are also recipients of the Padma Vibhushan. The list also included the cricketer and former Indian Captain, M.S.Dhoni’s name,who is the 11th cricketer till now to be awarded a Padma Bhushan.

Padma Shri awardees include scientist toymaker Arvind Gupta, healer Lakshmikutty, Gond artist Bhajju Shyam, 98-year-old social worker Sudhanshu Biswas, and ‘father of palliative care in India’ MR Rajagopal.The list also includes activists Rani and Abhay Bang, social worker Lentina Ao Thakkar, wildlife conservationist Romulus Whitaker, Sampat Ramteke, Sanduk Ruit.India’s first Paralympic gold medalist Murlikant Petkar, plastic road maker Rajagopalan Vasudevan, a housemaid who built a hospital for the poor Subhasini Mistry, midwife Sulagatti Narasamma, Tamil folk art exponent Vijayalakshmi, and monk physician Yeshi Dhoden are also among Padma Shri recipients.The list of Padma Shri awardees also includes one recipient from each ASEAN country, a move to commemorate the silver jubilee of the India-ASEAN partnership.

List of Padma awardees-

Padma Vibhushan


Ghulam Mustafa Khan


Padma Bhushan

Pankaj Advani

Philipose Mar Chrysostom

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Alexander Kadakin (Foreigner/Posthumous)


Ved Prakash Nanda (Overseas Citizen of India)

Laxman Pai

Arvind Parikh

Sharda Sinha

Padma Shri

Abhay and Rani Bang

Damodar Ganesh Bapat

Prafulla Govinda Baruah

Mohan Swaroop Bhatia

Sudhanshu Biswas

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

Pandit Shyamlal Chaturvedi

Jose Ma Joey Concepcion III (Foreigner)

Langpoklakpam Subadani Devi

Somdev Devvarman

Yeshi Dhoden

Arup Kumar Dutta

Doddarange Gowda

Arvind Gupta

Digamber Hansda

Ramli Bin Ibrahim (Foreigner)

Anwar Jalalpuri (Posthumous)

Piyong Temjen Jamir

Sitavva Joddati

Malti Joshi

Manoj Joshi

Rameshwarlal Kabra

Pran Kishore Kaul

Bounlap Keokangna (Foreigner)

Vijay Kichlu

Tommy Koh (Foreigner)


Joyshree Goswami Mahanta

Narayan Das Maharaj

Pravakara Maharana

Hun Many (Foreigner)

Nouf Marwaai (Foreigner)

Zaverilal Mehta

Krishna Bihari Mishra

Sisir Purushottam Mishra

Subhasini Mistry

Tomio Mizokami (Foreigner)

Somdet Phra Maha Muniwong (Foreigner)

Keshav Rao Musalgaonkar

Thant Myint – U (Foreigner)

V Nanammal

Sulagitti Narasamma

Vijayalakshmi Navaneethakrishnan

I Nyoman Nuarta (Foreigner)

Malai Haji Abdullah Bin Malai Haji Othman (Foreigner)

Gobaradhan Panika

Bhabani Charan Pattanaik

Murlikant Petkar

Habibullo Rajabov (Foreigner)

M R Rajagopal

Sampat Ramteke (Posthumous)

Chandra Sekhar Rath

S S Rathore

Amitava Roy

Sanduk Ruit (Foreigner)

R Sathyanarayana

Pankaj M Shah

Bhajju Shyam

Maharao Raghuveer Singh 

Kidambi Srikanth

Ibrahim Sutar

Siddeshwara Swamiji

Lentina Ao Thakkar

Vikram Chandra Thakur

Rudrapatnam Narayanaswamy Tharanathan – Rudrapatnam Narayanaswamy Thyagarajan

Nguyen Tien Thien

Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi

Rajagopalan Vasudevan

Manas Bihari Verma

Panatawane Gangadhar Vithobaji 

Romulus Whitaker

Baba Yogendra

A Zakia

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