• General Bipin Rawat, first Chief of Defence Staff who died in an air crash recently, and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh who headed the State during the Babri Masjid demolition were conferred with Padma Vibushan posthumously on the eve of the Republic Day (73rd).
  • Padma Vibhushan, part of the Padma series, is the second highest civilian award.

Important points:

  • The Padma Awards are announced annually on Republic Day (26th January).
  • Instituted in 1954, it is one of the highest civilian honours of India.
  • To recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.

The Awards are given in three categories:

  1. Padma Vibhushan (for exceptional and distinguished service),
  2. Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher-order) and
  3. Padma Shri (distinguished service).

Padma Vibhushan is highest in the hierarchy of Padma Awards followed by Padma Bhushan and

  • The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service etc.

Bharat Ratna

  • Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the country.
  • It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
  • It is treated on a different footing from Padma Award. The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
  • The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.


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