The Centre has instituted the highest civilian award for contribution to the unity and integrity of India, in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
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 award will be announced on the occasion of the National Unity Day on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on 31st of October.
Home Ministry has issued a notification in this regard on 20th of this month.
The award will 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 at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
An official release 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.
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, Union Territory Administrations and Ministries of Government of India may also send nominations.
Source : News Service Division. All India Radio