Govt veered from Naranayan committee reccomendations on Padma honours: RTI

Increased the Padma Shri roll, extended the deadline for filing of nominations

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Danish Raza | January 22, 2011



The government veered from the suggestions of K R Narayanan committee on Padma honours at least thrice, says a RTI reply.

In a response to the RTI application filed by social activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has informed that it has made three deviations from the recommendations of the K. R. Narayanan committee with the approval of competent authority.

In May 1996, then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao, had formed a committee headed by K R Narayanan, then vice President, to look into the guidelines regulating the awards.

The committee had suggested October 1 as the last date every year for receiving nominations for Padma awards. In 2005, the government revised the schedule for processing Padma awards which changed the deadline to November 20.

Second deviation was the decision to make government servants ineligible for Padma awards. The decision was taken on October 20, 2008, at a meeting of Padma awards committee, the agenda of which, was to review the guidelines and practices governing the consideration of Padma awards.

According to the RTI reply, the committee found that in the past, different practices were adopted on considering government servants for Padma awards.

“The committee was of the view that a consistent policy would be in the interest of transparency and has therefore recommended that the approval of the prime minister and president be obtained to the regulation that serving government servants, including those working with PSUs would not be eligible for Padma awards,” read the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which is with Governance Now.

The third deviation was to increase the number of Padma Shri awardees from 40 to 50. The MHA, as per the RTI reply, wrote a note to the cabinet secretariat, recommending the same.

Therefore, the total number of Padma awardees (excluding posthumous awards and awards to NRIs/ foreigners) was increased to 100.

For Padma awards 2011, the search committee search committee received 1303 nominations. Out of these, it finalized 30 names. This includes ace shooter Gagan Narang, wrestler Sushil kumar, and veteran music composer Khayyam.

The MHA refused to disclose the names of the members of the search committee, to the RTI applicant. “The process of Padma awards 2011 has not been completed and as such it is not possible to give names of the members of the search committee,” said the reply.

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