The Government has instituted the highest civilian award in the field of contribution to the unity and integrity of India, in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. A notification instituting the Sardar Patel National Unity Award was issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on September 20.
The Award seeks to recognize 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 statement said.
The first award will be announced on October 31, on the occasion of the National Unity Day – the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
The Award shall be conferred by the President by a Sanad under his hand and seal and presented by him in a presentation ceremony along with the Padma award presentation ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhawan, it said.
An Award Committee would be constituted by the Prime Minister, which would include the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the President, Home Secretary as Members and three-four eminent persons selected by the Prime Minister.
The Award would consist of a medal and a citation. No monetary grant or cash award would be attached to this Award.
Not more than three Awards would be given in a year. It would not be conferred posthumously except in very rare and highly deserving cases, it added.
The Nominations would be invited every year. The applications would need to be filed online on the website specifically designed by Ministry of Home Affairs. All citizens, without distinction of religion, race caste, gender, place of birth, age or occupation, and any institution/organization would be eligible for the Award, kit said.
Any Indian national or institution or organization based in India would be able to nominate an individual for consideration for this Award. Individuals may also nominate themselves. State Governments, UT Administrations and Ministries of Government of India may also send nominations, it added.