The MHA put out the list of recommendations received on the Padma Awards portal. For the 2018 Padma Awards, more than 35000 recommendations were received with one individual getting more than 4000 recommendations.
Starting from the year 2017, the government has opened up the recommendations for the various Padma Awards and has asked citizens to recommend individuals through a centralized web portal. A total of 84 Padma Awards were announced for the year 2018 including two duo awards. Like in 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released the list of recommendations received for the 2018 awards. Here is an analysis of the recommendations as released by the MHA.
More than 35000 recommendations received in 2018
As per the list released by MHA, a total of 35595 recommendations were received from various individuals, central/state governments and others. Number of recommendations in 2018 was almost twice the number received in 2017. While some of these are duplicate recommendations, more than 7000 distinct individuals were recommended. The most such recommendations were received for individuals from Maharashtra (9755) followed by those from Andhra Pradesh (7161). Both these states top the charts because of a few individuals who received hundreds of recommendations. More than 1000 recommendations each were received for individuals from 8 states. Only one recommendation was received for an individual from Daman & Diu, the least for any State/UT. Less than 10 recommendations were received for individuals from Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya & Nagaland.
Most recommendations from Citizens
Recommendations were invited from various categories of people/institutions. More than 93% of the recommendations were received from citizens. NRIs made 553 recommendations followed by the State/UT Governments who made 312 recommendations. Padma Vibhushan awardees made 269 recommendations while Bharat Ratna awardees made 10 recommendations. Members of Parliament (MPs) made 242 recommendations while MLAs/MLCs made 121 recommendations. Governors made 77 & Chief Ministers made 38 recommendations.
31 of the awardees had no recommendations from the portal
Out of the 86 awardees for the year 2018 (including two duo awardees), 31 of them did not have any recommendation from the portal. In other words, 36% of the awardees for the year 2018 did not have any recommendation from the centralized portal. Out of the remaining 55 awardees, 35 of them were recommended by Citizens, 8 by the State/UT government, 7 by the Central Government Ministry, 1 by the Padma Vibhushan Awardee and 4 by the search committee. It is also interesting to note that only 4 of the 51 recommended by the search committee were awarded.
These individuals topped the recommendation charts
In 2017, the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had received more than 4000 recommendations, the highest for any individual. In 2018, it is the turn of Hanmant Rao Gaikwad, the founder of the BVG India group. He received more than 4000 recommendations in what appears to be coordinated campaign where some citizens had recommended his name multiple times. Next in the list is Maganti Murali Mohan, an MP from Andhra Pradesh belonging to the TDP. Also an artist in the Telugu Film industry, Murali Mohan received more than 2000 recommendations. Together, these two received more than 20% of all the recommendations in 2018.The next in the list is Bhogaraju Ramana Rao, a physician from Andhra Pradesh now settled in Bangalore. He received more than 1500 recommendations. Incidentally, he received the Padma Shri in the year 2010. Three (3) other individuals received more than 1000 recommendations each,; Umar Alisha (Peetadhipathi of Viswa Viznana Vidya Adhyatmika Peetham), Chaganti Koteshwara Rao (a speaker known for his discourses on Sanatana Dharma) and Nagnath Alli of the Samarth Sadguru sansthan. A total of 33 individuals received more than 100 recommendations each and made up for more than 55% of all the recommendations. None of them with more than 500 recommendations finally received the Padma award. There were also a few dummy names in the recommendation list.