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Present Eligibility criteria for National Awards

Posted by Admin on August 8, 2014 | Comment

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The culture of showering public recognitions to individual achievers gained momentum in the post-independence era, with Indian government considering newer categories and levels of awards for excellence displayed in several disciplines. Be it the civilian awards or the war-time gallantry awards, the stringent eligibility criteria for nominating and choosing the deserving winner endows every honour special or recipient with special significance.

Present Eligibility criteria for National Awards in india

Find a list of different types of National awards meant for citizens of India along with their eligibility criteria : 

Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna (meaning ‘Jewel of India’) has the distinction of being the highest civilian award in the country. Making its debut on 2nd January 1954, the award is conferred upon individuals who have manifested “exceptional service/performance of the highest order.” The recipient of Bharat Ratna could be of any religion, race, occupation, or sex. As per the rules, only the Prime Minister of India can recommend names to the President, following which a maximum of three nominees are chosen for the award every year.

Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion. No monetary grant is associated with the award. According to Article 18 (1) of the Constitution, the recipients are prohibited from using Bharat Ratna as a title. The names of the recipients are officially announced in the Gazette of India, without which the conferral of the award is not considered official.

The President has the power to revoke the awards of some of the recipients. The same is also registered in the Gazette. In such cases, the awardees are asked to surrender their medals. It was only in December 2011 that the criterion for the award was expanded to “any field of human endeavour.” Earlier, it was only confined to the domains such as arts, literature, science and public services. Though the honour is conferred on Indian citizens, the Bharat Ratna has also been awarded to Mother Teresa (naturalised citizen), Pakistan national Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and ex-South African President Nelson Mandela.

Padma Awards

Padma Awards officially came into existence in 1954. These awards are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award in India after Bharat Ratna that recognizes ‘exceptional and distinguished service’ to the nation in any field, including government service. Padma Bhushan is the next in precedence, which is conferred upon individuals who have offered ‘distinguished service of a high order’. Padma Shri goes to those whose ‘distinguished service’ to the nation has caught the public attention.

Padma Awards recognise stellar contribution of the citizens in all fields of activities/disciplines including, art, medicine, social work, science & engineering, trade & industry and public affairs. The award is normally not conferred posthumously, except in some special cases.

The government invites recommendations from all state/UT governments, ministries, MPs and private individuals. Recommendations are also sought from Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan recipients and institutes of excellence. These recommendations are submitted before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. Further recommendations are made by the committee on the basis of which the President and the Prime Minister give their approval.

In a recent change of norms, the government has asked states to ensure that the nominee has excelled in one of the identified fields. Moreover, the nominees from the backward class, handicapped, weaker section and women should also be considered for these awards. It is to be noted that Padma awards are not given to the controversial persons and the names of the individuals must be cleared by the intelligence agencies.In case of any misuse, the awardees are penalised by revoking the honour. No cash allowance is attached to these awards.

National Sports Awards

Indian government honours sportspersons and athletes who have excelled in their chosen field of sports and set benchmarks for the succeeding generations.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

Khel Ratna (Sports Gem) is the highest honour one can expect to get for his/her achievement in sports. Named after the ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, this honour was conceived in 1991-92 to compensate the lack of any supreme national award in the field of sports. Khel Ratna is conferred for “outstanding sporting performance,” across all sporting disciplines in a given year. The award comprises a medal, a scroll of honour and cash allowance of `750,000.

Arjuna Award

Even before Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was instituted, the Arjuna award was already in place. Since 1961, it has been recognising individuals with outstanding achievement in national sports. Under the recently revised guidelines, the government has clearly articulated a more stringent eligibility criterion. To be considered eligible for the Arjuna Award, a sportsperson should not only display good performance consistently for previous three years at international level, but also show “qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.” The scope of the award has expanded over the years and newer disciplines such as indigenous games and physically handicapped category have been included.

Dronacharya Award

This award goes to a select few who have proven their capability as a coach. The government has been presenting this honour (since 1985) to those individuals whose excellence in sports coaching deserves recognition. The award comprises a bronze statuette of Dronacharya, a scroll of honour and a cash allowance of `500,000.

Dhyan Chand Award

Notably, the highest award for lifetime achievement in sports. Named after the hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, this award was initiated in 2002. The award consists of a plaque, a scroll of honour and a cash prize of `500,000.

National Film Awards

Undoubtedly one of the most prominent awards in the film fraternity, the national film awards was instituted back in 1954. The government appoints a national panel that is given the charge of selecting the winning entry. There is a strict set of rules and eligibility criteria that is being adhered to. Firstly, the filmmaker must be an Indian national and the films should be produced in India. For cases such as co-production, the film should fulfil six other conditions to qualify. Moreover, only those films are considered eligible which are certified by the Central Board of Film Certification.

National Patriotic Awards

Time and again, Indian has seen soldiers rising up to the occasion and giving their best shot to fight the enemy. In order to recognise and honour those military personnel who have been fearless in the face of adversities, the patriotic awards were instituted.

Param Vir Chakra

Param Vir Chakra is the highest military honour awarded to those who have exhibited “highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy.” Param Vir Chakra can only be awarded to officers or personnel from all branches of the Indian military. This award replaced the former British Victoria Cross (VC).

Maha Vir Chakra

The Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military honour awarded to those personnel who have proven their worth by “acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.” It replaced the British Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

Vir Chakra

Vir Chakra is third highest military honour. This wartime gallantry award is presented to those who have displayed unflinching courage in the battlefield. It’s the Indian replacement for the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Military Cross (MC) and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

Ashok Chakra Award

In order to be eligible for the Ashok Chakra, the personnel has to prove his valour or self-sacrifice. This gallantry award goes to those who have been involved in “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice.” The award is an Indian replacement of the British George Cross.

Kirti Chakra

It is the second highest peacetime gallantry award conferred upon civilians as well as military personnel. Besides the officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and legally constituted Armed Forces, civilians from all walks of life are eligible for the Kirti Chakra. Like Ashok Chakra, this award also recognises courage and self-sacrifice.

Shaurya Chakra

Given to civilians and military personnel, Shaurya Chakra is the third highest peacetime gallantry award that honours true grit and valour. Shaurya Chakra is generally awarded for actions taken against the enemy during peacetime and breakthroughs achieved in counter-insurgency operations. From February 1, 1999, the India government has set a monthly stipend of `750 for recipients of the award.

WBSG08.08.2014

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