Padma Awards were instituted in the year 1954. Except for brief interruption(s) during the years 1977 and 1980 and 1993 to 1997, these awards have been announced every year on Republic day. The award is given in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
• Padma Shri is awarded for ‘distinguished service’.
• Padma Bhushan for ‘distinguished service of a high order’.
• Padma Vibhushan for ‘exceptional and distinguished service'.