New Delhi: The Union government, this year, has received the highest number of nominations ever for the Padma awards. According to the ministry of home affairs, a record 49,992 nominations have been received for the Padma awards 2019. It is 32 times higher than the nominations received in 2010.

The government claims that the reason for the increase is due to the free and fair process of scrutiny. Also, in the past three years, many from the general public have also received these awards. In 2010, 1,313 nominations were received and in 2016, the number was 18,768. Last year, a total of 35,595 nominations were recieved by the government. 

"The government has transformed the Padma awards into ‘people’s awards’ in true sense. People are encouraged to nominate unsung heroes who deserve these top civilian awards (Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri)," MHA said.

The nomination process for the Padma awards was made online in 2016. 

"The technological intervention that has made the nomination process accessible to the people at large and the emphasis of the government to confer the Padma awards upon unsung heroes, who are doing selfless service to the nation, have resulted in a transformation," the ministry said.

The online nomination process for the Padma awards to be announced on Republic Day next year commenced on May 1, 2018 and the last date for the submission of nominations was September 15, 2018.

Nominations were invited from Central ministries/departments, state/UT governments, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, institutes of excellence and also from several other sources to enable broad-based consideration. All citizens can make nominations/recommendation and there can indeed be self-nomination.