Government of India of has started to give Padma awards in 1954. Padma awards has three categories and initially they were named as Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg and later it was renamed as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri through presidential notification in 1955. These awards are announced by Central Government of India during Republic day. Awards will be presented in March / Apr by President of India and published in Gazette of India on the same day. Total number of awards per year should not be exceed 120.
Padma Vibhushan has highest rank among three and it is given for exceptional and distinguished service. Padma Bhusan is the next one and it is given for distinguished service of a high order. Padma Shri is given for distinguished service.
Any citizen of India irrespective of occpation, race, sex, position are eligible for Padma awards. Government servants who are working in PSUs except scientists and doctors are not eligible for Padma Awards.
Prime Minister will consititute Padma Awards Committee every year and will be headed by Cabinet Secretary. This committee will submit their recomandations to PM and President for approval.
People who served in the following fields will be considered for this honour.
1. Arts - Music, Photography, Cinema, Painting, Sculpture, etc
2. Science & Engineering - Information Technology, Nuclear Science, Space Engineering, R&D in Science & its allied subjects
3. Social Work - Social Service, contribution in community projects, charitable service
4. Public Affairs - Public Life, Law, Politics
5. Literature & Education - Teaching, Journalism, Literature, Poetry, Promotion of literacy, Book composing, Promotion of education
6. Trade & Industry - Management, Promotion of Tourism, Economic Activities, Banking,Business
7. Civil Service - Excellence in administration by Government Servants
8. Medicine - Medical research, Homeopathy, distinction/specialization in Ayurveda, Allopathy, Naturopathy, Sidhha
9. Sports - Athletics, popular Sports, promotion of sports, Adventure, Yoga
10. Others - Fields which are not covered above