Padma Shri

Padma Shri (also Padma Shree) is the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. It is awarded by the Government of India, every year on India's Republic Day.[2]

Padma Shri
Awarded by

Government of India
TypeNational Civilian distinguishment
First awarded1954
Last awarded2019
Total awarded2840
Next (higher) Padma Bhushan[1]
Next (lower)Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak[1]


Padma Awards were instituted in 1954 to be awarded to citizens of India in recognition of their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the arts, education, industry, literature, science, sports, medicine, social service and public affairs. It has also been awarded to some distinguished individuals who were not citizens of India but did contribute in various ways to India.

The selection criteria have been criticized in some quarters with the claim that many highly deserving artists have been left out in order to favor certain individuals.[3][4] India has now created an online nomination platform for the common citizens to recommend the nomination for the annually given civilian "Padma" awards.[5]

On its obverse, the words "Padma", meaning lotus in Sanskrit, and "Shri", a Sanskrit-derived honorific equivalent to 'Mr.' or 'Ms.' (ie., "Noble One in Blossom"), appear in Devanagari above and below a lotus flower. The geometrical pattern on either side is in burnished bronze. All embossing is in white gold.

As of 2017, 2840 people have received the award.[6]

Refusals and controversies

Several intended recipients, including sitar player Vilayat Khan,[7] academic and author Mamoni Raisom Goswami,[8] journalist Kanak Sen Deka[9] and noted Bollywood screenwriter Salim Khan, have declined the Padma Shri for various reasons.[10] Some intended recipients, such as environmental activist Sunderlal Bahuguna[11] and English billiards champion Michael Ferreira,[9] have refused the honour but have subsequently accepted a more prestigious one such as the Padma Bhushan or Padma Vibhushan. Other individuals, such as author Phanishwar Nath 'Renu',[12] Punjabi author Dalip Kaur Tiwana[13] and noted poet Jayanta Mahapatra,[14] have returned the honour after initially accepting it.

Awards by decade

See also


  1. "Precedence Of Medals". Website. Indian Army. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  2. "Padma award's schema" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  3. "Padma's Easy Slim Zone | Vrinda Gopinath". Retrieved 10 July 2013.
  4. "Advani backs Merchant on Padma awards selection criticism". The Times of India. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  5. "Padma Awards Online Nomination".
  6. "Previous awardees". Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. Kaminsky, Arnold P.; Long, Roger D. (2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. p. 411. ISBN 978-0-313-37462-3. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017.
  8. "Artistes' angst". The Hindu. 19 January 2003. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  9. "Refusal question mark on awards". The Telegraph - India. 28 January 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  10. "Salim Khan declines to receive Padma Shri". The Indian Express. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  11. "Noted activist Sunderlal Bahuguna turns 90". The Pioneer. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 18 June 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Punjabi writer Tiwana to return Padma Shri". The Tribune. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  14. "Jayanta Mahapatra returns Padma Shri protesting 'intolerance'". The Hindustan Times. 23 November 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
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