New Delhi: The Centre has instituted the highest civilian award for contribution to India’s unity and integrity in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The ‘Sardar Patel National Unity Award’, comprising a medal and a citation, seeks to recognise notable and inspiring contributions to promote the cause of national unity and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The award would not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases, the statement said. No monetary grant or cash reward would be attached to the award and not more than three awards would be given in a year, it added.
The award would be announced on the occasion of National Unity Day —the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on October 31.
It will be conferred by the President and presented by him in a presentation ceremony along with the Padma award presentation ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the MHA said.
An award committee would be constituted by the Prime Minister, which would include the Cabinet secretary, principal secretary to the PM, secretary to the President, home secretary as members and three-four eminent persons selected by the PM.
Any Indian national or institution or organisation based in India would be able to nominate an individual for consideration for the award. Individuals may also nominate themselves. State governments, Union Territory administrations and ministries may also send nominations, it said.
The nominations would be invited every year, the MHA said, adding that the applications would need to be filed online on the website specifically designed by the ministry.