The Maharashtra Government has established a seven member committee headed by the cultural affairs minister Sudhir Mungantiwar to recommend to the Centre the names for the Padma Awards which will be announced on January 26 next year. Committee’s members include cooperation minister Dilip Walse Patil, higher and technical education minister Chandrakant Patil, Public Works (MSRDC) minister Dadaji Bhuse, agriculture minister Dhananjay Munde, industry minister Uday Samant and additional chief secretary and chief protocol officer of General Administration Department (protocol).
The committee’s mandate is to scrutinise names received from the state government’s various channels and recommend them to the state government.
According to the state government sources, there is no fixed or rigid criteria or set formula for selection of names for Padma Awards. Generally, the committee takes into account the lifetime achievement of an individual for selection of names from various fields.
The element of public service in the persons’ achievements is considered. In addition,
Persons selected for the awards are subjected to verification by the investigating agencies of the Government with a view to ensuring that their character and antecedents are above board.
All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex are eligible for these Awards. Government servants including those working with public sector undertakings, except Doctors and Scientists, are not eligible for Padma Awards.
For Padma Awards an applicant from nine specific fields can apply. They include Art, Literature and Education, Sports, Medicine, Social Work, Science and Engineering, Public Affairs, Civil Service, Trade and Industry and others (fields not covered above and may include propagation of Indian Culture, protection of Human Rights, Wild Life protection/conservation, etc.)