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Padma Vibhushan

The Padma Vibhushan is the second highest civilian award in the Republic of India. It consists of a medal and a citation and is awarded by thePresident of India. It was established on 2 January 1954. It ranks behind the Bharat Ratna and before the Padma Bhushan. It is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service.

History

The award was established by Presidential decree on 2 January 1954. The Padma Vibhushan was originally established as the Pahela Varg (First Class) of a three-class "Padma Vibhushan" awards. However the structure was changed in 1955 and there is no record of the award being presented to recipients in the original structure. The award was suspended between 1977 and 1980 and between 1992 and 1998.

As of the end of 2011, only 283 people have thus far been awarded this honour.[1][2]


Medallion details


First medallion (1954-1955)

The initial medal was a circular gold medal, 1-3/8 inches in diameter, with an embossed lotus flower in the center and the legend "Padma Vibhushan" above and a floral wreath below. The obverse side had the Indian state emblem with the legend Desh Seva (National Service) above and a lotus wreath below. No record exists to show whether this design was used to present a medal to the awardees.


Second medallion (1955-1957)

In 1955, the badge design was altered to be a "mainly circular" 1-3/16-inch toned bronze badge with geometrical patterns. The center had a lotus flower with four major petals embossed in white gold. Above and below this flower, the name of the decoration Padma Vibhushan was embossed in silver-gilt.


Current medallion (1957-current)

In 1957, the badge design was retained but the material changed from toned bronze to burnished bronze. 

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