Every year more than 1500 nominations are received by the Government of India for the prestigious Padma awards, which include the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan awards. Nominations are received from central ministries, departments, states/UT administrations, Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan awardees, institutes of excellence as also from several other sources to enable broad-based consideration. You can also nominate your own self.

Padma Awards Citation writing by Get Set Resumes

Padma Awards

The Padma awards are amongst the highest civilian awards in India. Instituted in 1954, these awards are announced on the occasion of the Republic Day every year. The award recognise ‘work of distinction’ and exceptional achievements and service in any field or discipline, including art, social work, science, engineering, literature, education, sports, medicine, public affairs, civil service, etc. Anybody is eligible for these awards without any distinction on race, occupation, position or gender.

Application Process

The application process involves filling out a detailed form on the Padma website along with the submission of a Citation in the form of a narration (maximum 800 words) which clearly brings out the exceptional achievements or service of the person who is being nominated for the award.

Honourable Mention

On more than one occasion, Get Set Resumes has had the privilege of writing Citations for some of the most honourable gentlemen and ladies from their respective social service genres. Very recently we wrote one for a senior Social Worker who left his earthly pursuits to help society fight cancer. From running a flourishing business in the UK, to leaving it all behind to come back to his roots in India and helping anyone infected with the disease, fight it. From raising money, to aiding medically, or organising fundraising or charity events, this gentleman has now spent over 12 years dedicated to this cause. He has covered over 9000 villages across India and helped 73000 patients with tests and aid.

From raising money, to aiding medically, or organising fundraising or charity events, this gentleman has now spent over 12 years dedicated to this cause. He has covered over 9000 villages across India and helped 73000 patients with tests and aid.

By any measure, this is an extraordinary achievement for any human. Writing a citation for such people is a learning and an honour for us.

Writing the Citation for Padma Awards

Citation for the Padma Awards should bring out the scale and the extent of the work that an individual has done. It should do justice to the work that has been performed and the dedication with which someone deep dived into their area of interest and went the extra mile to contribute to mankind. Needless to say, it requires a lot of thinking and skill to put it down in words.

Citation should do justice to the work that has been performed and the dedication with which someone deep dived into their area of interest and went the extra mile to contribute to mankind. Needless to say, it requires a lot of thinking and skill to put it down in words.

We approach the citation in the following manner:

  1. Interact with the individual or the spokesperson and create a Character Sketch of the individual
  2. List out all the facts, numbers, contributions in the form of KPIs or numbers, people affected, any milestones achieved
  3. Group milestones or numbers into similar categories. For example: data for patients cured or admitted is grouped together and the number of miles walked for a fundraising is grouped separately
  4. Make 2 sets of the same facts:
    1. sorted by timeline,
    2. grouped by impact
  5. List down all the other achievements and awards won already
  6. Write down a biography including the personal details and family background of the individual
  7. Create a list of high impact words that are relevant or key to the sector for which the citation is being submitted

Once all this has been listed down, the next step is to weave all of this information into a story.

We start with a short Biography of the person in quest of the award. The Biography should be short and talk about the motivation to start the pursuit and the background of the individual.

This should be followed with a timeline of events and an elaborate narrative on how work was accomplished, challenges faced and overcome, and how results were achieved. The numbers and KPIs that we listed should be a part of this narrative and so should be the awards or existing recognitions that have been received. Needless to say, you should not be applying to the Padma awards if you have not been recognised at your district and state levels yet (nationally or internationally).

You should not be applying to the Padma awards if you have not been recognised at your district and state levels yet (nationally or internationally).

The narrative should end with an apt closing and a direction which the individual is working in, irrespective of whether they win or not win the Padma award.


The Citation for an Award of this level is not a one-day job. It will require you to sit down long hours and give it a few weeks if not months. But after a few tens of rejected drafts, you will be ready with a citation worth reading. And if you are not, we are just a call away. Contact us for any help.

All the best!


This post first appeared on the getsetResumes.com Blog

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