Were the guidelines adhered to during recommending nominees for Padma awards?
The Home Ministry had asked the states to constitute special search committees for identifying, considering and finalising recommendations for Padma awards. It had also specified the criteria for the selection of nominees.
However, the reply to an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has indicated that the list of nominees for the prestigious awards sent to the central government by the government of Kerala did not fulfill the required selection criteria.
The reply provided by the General Administration Department suggests that the process of selection of persons for nomination was flawed. The state government had not constituted any search committee which should have members independent of the government. Also, the list shows that an already Padma Sri awarded person was re-nominated for the same award. There is a growing perception that the winners of Padma Shri and other awards are persons who can manage the process of selection.