Padma Shri award Current Affairs - 2020

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Padma Awards announced on Republic Day

On January 26, 2020, Government of India announced 141 Padma Awards on the occasion of 71st Republic Day celebrations.

Highlights

Former Union Ministers George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj are to be awarded with Padma Vibhushan posthumously. Former PM of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth, Boxer MC Mary Kom, Hindustani classical vocalist Chhannulal Mishra are also to be awarded with the prestigious award.

The former CM of Goa Manohar Parrikar is to be conferred with the award posthumously.

Two Bangladeshis are to awarded honoured with Padma awards as well. It includes High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Mr Syed Muazzem Ali who passed away in 2014. He rebelled against the Pakistani Government and declared his allegiance to Bangladesh in 1971. He was serving in the Pakistan embassy during his allegiance.

Padma Awards

The awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India. The awards are presented in three categories namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. The awards are conferred based on the recommendations made by the Padma Awards Committee. The committee is constituted by the Prime Minister every year. However, the nomination process is open to the public as well. Even self-nominations are allowed.

Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished services. Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service and Padma Bhushan is awarded for distinguished service of high order.

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Manipur filmmaker to return Padma Shri in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill

Renowned Filmmaker from Manipur Aribam Syam Sharma has decided to return his 2006 Padma Shri award in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Why the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has become controversial?

The citizenship amendment bill 2016 aims to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955. The controversial features of the bill are

  • The bill allows the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan to apply for Indian citizenship.
  • The bill relaxes the 11-year cutoff to six years out of 14, for immigrants of the six religions from the three countries.

The bill is criticised for being communal as it grants citizenship on the basis of religion. It is also argued that the bill is against the basic structure of the constitution as the Supreme Court has upheld secularism as a basic structure of the constitution. It is said that the bill also violates Article 14 which promotes equality.

Why the heat against the bill is more in North East?

The issue of illegal immigrants is a sensitive issue in the North-East. Often the states have witnessed clashes and communal riots due to tensions between immigrants and the locals.

The bill is aimed at providing citizenship to illegal immigrants. The North-Eastern states share borders with Bangladesh. It is said that due to porous borders between India and Bangladesh, lakhs of illegal immigrants have crossed over to India and are majorly concentrated in these northeastern states.

The North-Eastern States have often witnessed protests seeking identification of these illegal immigrants and deporting them. Assam Accord and National Registry of Citizens were aimed at curbing the menace of the illegal immigrants.

The people of North East fear that if the bill is implemented their struggle for years would be undermined and there would be a heavy Social, Economical and political burden on the North-East.

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