Any Indian can now recommend any achiever for the prestigious Padma Awards, with the government throwing open the nomination process to general public to make it transparent and curb the crony culture of influence and lobbying.

The nominations can be made online but the nominators would be required to furnish their Aadhaar details for authenticity and accountability. “For the first time, government of India is encouraging the people of India to nominate achievers for the Padma Awards,” sources said.

It is a step towards transforming the national awards into a truly people’s award which will no longer remain restricted to elite rulers, they said. Opening up of the nomination process to the general public will also help in identifying unsung or lesser known people of excellence, the sources said.

“Simple online nomination encourages and facilitates all Indian citizens to participate,” the sources added.

They said the changes in the nomination process is aimed at curbing the crony culture of influence and lobbying. “Online application portal plus electronic management system harnesses technology to make processing of nominations efficient and transparent,” the sources said.

The government has already received over 1700 nominations and the last date of nomination is September 15.