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Padma Vibhushan


The Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India.

It consists of a medal and a citation and is awarded by the President of India.

It was established on 2 January 1954. It ranks behind the Bharat Ratna and comes before the Padma Bhushan.

It is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service.

The Padma Vibhushan (sensible award)was originally established as the Pahela Varg (First Class) of a three-class "Padma Vibhushan" awards.

However the structure was changed in 1955 and there is no record of the award being presented to recipients in the original structure. The award was suspended between 1977 and 1980 and between 1992 and 1998.

During 1 May and 15 September of every year, the recommendations for the award are submitted to the Padma Awards Committee, constituted by the Prime Minister of India. The recommendations are received from all the state and the union territory governments, the Ministries of the Government of India, the Bharat Ratna and previous Padma Vibhushan award recipients, the Institutes of Excellence, the Ministers, the Chief Ministers and the Governors of State, and the Members of Parliament including private individuals. The committee later submits their recommendations to the Prime Minister and the President of India for the further approval. The award recipients are announced on Republic Day.

The medals are produced at Alipore Mint, Kolkata along with the other civilian and military awards like Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, and Param Veer Chakra.

Medallion details :

First medallion (1954-1955) :

The initial medal was a circular gold medal, 1-3/8 inches in diameter, with an embossed lotus flower in the center and the legend "Padma Vibhushan" above and a floral wreath below.

The obverse side had the Indian state emblem with the legend Desh Seva (National Service) above and a lotus wreath below. No record exists to show whether this design was used to present a medal to the awardees.

Second medallion (1955-1957) :

In 1955, the badge design was altered to be a "mainly circular" 1-3/16-inch toned bronze badge with geometrical patterns.

The center had a lotus flower with four major petals embossed in white gold. Above and below this flower, the name of the decoration Padma Vibhushan was embossed in silver-gilt.

Current medallion (1957-current) :

In 1957, the badge design was retained but the material changed from toned bronze to burnished bronze.


Recipients awarded during 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

Recipients awarded during 2000s, 2010s

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