The Union Home Ministry on Friday announced the Sardar Patel National Unity Award, a new honour on the pattern of Padma awards for individuals or institutions for notable contributions towards the cause of national unity and integrity.
In a notification issued on Friday, the ministry said the decoration shall be conferred by the President by a ‘Sanad’ (certificate) “under his hand and seal”.
The decoration shall be in the form of a lotus leaf — six centimetres in length, six and two centimetres at its breadth and four millimetres in thickness. It will be made of fine silver and gold.
On its obverse shall be embossed replica of the lotus and with petals of lotus spreading out from sixteen petals.
A portrait of Sardar Patel shall be embossed upon a circular shaped gold medal with diameter of two centimetres and on the reverse shall be embossed the state emblem and motto in Hindi, it said. “The emblem, the lotus and the petals shall be of fine silver plated with gold and the inscription shall be of frosted gold.”
As per the notification, a sealed pattern of the decoration shall be deposited and kept.
“The decoration shall be worn by men on the left breast, suspended from a plain lotus tri-colour ribbon one and four centimetres in width and by women the same colour and width fashioned into a bow.”
The decoration shall be awarded for notable and inspiring contributions to promote the cause of nationality and integrity and to reinforce the value of a strong and united India, it said.
It noted that any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex shall be eligible for the award.
The decoration may be awarded posthumously in very rare and only in highly deserving cases, the notification said. The names of the persons, upon whom the decoration is conferred, shall be published in the Gazette of India and a register of all such recipients shall be maintained under the direction of the President.
The President may cancel and annul the award of the decoration to any person or organization or institution and thereupon his name shall be erased from the register and he shall be required to surrender the decoration and the ‘Sanad’, it said.