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Updated: April 8, 2010 15:31 IST

Brajesh missed Padma award despite Manmohan Government backing

Vidya Subrahmaniam
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Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra. File photo
The Hindu
Former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra. File photo

RTI activist says others too missed it despite recommendations by PMO

India's first National Security Adviser and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Brajesh Mishra, missed receiving a Padma award this year despite a recommendation by the Manmohan Singh-headed Prime Minister's Office.

Painter Jatin Das and dancer-scholar Padma Subrahmanyam also did not make it to the 2010 Padma list despite being recommended by the PMO. The Union Ministry of Culture too pitched in for Mr. Das. Young music sensation T.M. Krishna lost out to competitors despite a recommendation from the Union Ministry of Culture

These and many other interesting details relating to the Padma awards emerge from an analysis of documents obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs by Right to Information activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal. The complete list of names considered for the awards (along with who recommended them) is available here.

Sant Singh Chatwal, the controversial hotelier who was awarded the Padma Bhushan, had the backing of Union Ministers Praful Patel and Vayalar Ravi, besides U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley and Dalis Adler, Staff Associate at the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Of the 130 Padma awardees this year, six were conferred the Padma Vibhushan, 43 were given the Padma Bhushan and another 81 got the Padma Shri.

The awards were decided by an Awards Committee comprising the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the President, and Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, besides five eminent citizens — Kapila Vatsyayan, R. Chidambaram, Syeda Hameed, Tarun Das and Girsh Karnad. The Committee made its selection from 1163 names, which it received in two batches. The first lot of 1132 names reached the committee prior to November 20, 2009 — the officially-admitted deadline for receiving recommendations. It received another 31 names after November 20. The Committee selected 107 names from the first list and 25 from the second list. Two recipients declined the award.

Of the 31 names in the second list, 12 came with the PMO's recommendation. Mr. Mishra and Ms. Subrahmayam were in the second list as were Editor of Newsweek International Fareed Zakaria, actor Aamir Khan, the former Cabinet Secretary and Member of Planning Commission, B.K. Chaturvedi, Member of Planning Commission Abhijit Sen and danseuse Mallika Sarabhai. Mr. Mishra and Ms. Subrahmanyam did not get the award, the rest did.

Also in the second list of 31 were Actor Saif Ali Khan and Oscar winner Resul Pookutty, both recommended by the Awards Committee and honoured with the Padma Shri.

A 1996 high-level Padma award review committee headed by Vice-President K. R. Narayanan had prescribed strict norms for deciding the awards, including limiting the total number of awardees to a maximum of 60 and setting a deadline of October 1 for receiving recommendations. Recent RTI queries have revealed that successive governments have ignored the guidelines. In 2004, the PMO headed by Mr. Vajpayee made recommendations on telephone well after the deadline. However, in reply to a query, the Manmohan Singh government said that the deadline stood altered to November 20, and further that the Prime Minister was not bound by the deadline.

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Not surprising ! In a country where even the earned degree like the "doctorate" degree has gone to dogs, what can be said about awards being doled out by the govt.

from:  karthikrajan
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 12:58 IST

If such sorry state of affairs continues, nobody will respect a padma award. Saif Aali Khan getting a Padma Shri and Padma Subrahmanyam not getting one shows how farcial the whole thing is. Celebrity-driven awards now has the backing of government of India?

from:  Divya
Posted on: Mar 16, 2010 at 12:06 IST

Among the Nobel Laureates, C V Raman, Amartya Sen and Mother Theresa were awarded Bharat Ratna. Subramanyam Chandrasekhar (considered to be the greatest theoretical astrophysicist of the twentieth century) and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan(latest Laureat) were awarded only Padma Vibhushan. Har Gobid Khorana was not awarded any. Will someone explain why this glaring differentiation? Obviously some are more important than others.

from:  T S Krishnamoorthy
Posted on: Mar 16, 2010 at 07:40 IST
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