Padma Bhushan

Padma Bhushan
Awarded by President of India
Type Civilian
Category National
Instituted 1954
First awarded 1954
Last awarded 2016
Total awarded 1225
Award rank
 Padma Vibhushan[1] Padma Shri & Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal[1] 

The Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, but coming before the Padma Shri. It is announced on the occasion of Republic Day of India every year. It is conferred by the President of India at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan sometime around March or April.


The award was established on 2 January 1954 by the president of India. It is awarded to recognize distinguished service of a high order to the nation, in any field. As of December 2016, 1249 people have thus far received the award.[2][3]


Although the Padma awards, including the Padma Vibhushan, are the highest civilian awards in India and those selected for the award are famous for their contribution to Indian social, cultural, economic, political or other spheres of life, several noted public figures have refused the award on various grounds. In 2013 the veteran playback singer Mrs. S. Janaki rejected the award, stating that the honour came to her too late and that the artists of South India were not duly recognised.[4] The eminent jurist and former Chief Justice of India J. S. Verma was awarded the Padma Bhushan posthumously in 2014. His family refused to accept the award as they believed Justice Verma in principle "was never a man to yearn or lobby for any acclaim, reward or favour."[5][6]

Several artists, including musicians and writers such as Ustad Vilayat Khan, Romila Thapar, Sitara Devi, Phanishwarnath Renu, and Nikhil Chakravarty,[7] have also refused Padma awards due to various reasons, including personal pride and what has been described as 'national interest'.[8]

Pushpa Mittra Bhargava received the Padma Bhushan from the President of India in 1986, but returned it in 2015 citing a "climate of intolerance" and "the ways in which science and reason was getting eroded in the country".[9][10]

List of Awardees


  1. 1 2 "Precedence Of Medals". Indian Army. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  2. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  3. "This Year's Padam Awards announced" (Press release). Ministry of Home Affairs. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
  4. "Veteran singer S Janaki refuses to accept Padma Awards". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  5. JS Verma's family refuses Padma Award
  6. Modi calls for Yoga Day in US General Assembly
  7. AKSHAYA MUKUL; VISHWA MOHAN & HIMANSHI DHAWAN (6 February 2010). "Chatwal fiasco: Top civilian awards losing sheen". Times of India. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  8. People Who Have Refused Padma Awards
  9. "Worried over India's future, scientist P.M. Bhargava to return Padma Bhushan". The Hindu. The Hindu. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  10. "Scientist Bhargava to return his Padma award". 2 November 2015.
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