Padma Awards elude IT bigwigs yet again, but why?

DQI Bureau
New Update

It's either ironical or sheer indifference that out of the 108 eminent personalities awarded the revered Padma Awards for 2012, the list of which was announced last Friday, there is not even one from the field of Information Technology (IT).


While it is open to debate as to someone deserved it in recent times, after most of the industry veterans had one of the prestigious awards in their showcases over the last decade, it can't be denied outright that some of the flagbearers are yet to be recognized. For over two years now, as they had nought for an answer in 2012 (for 2011) as well.

Over this time, not even one? Not out of 108? Surprising, but true. Wipro Limited's chairman Azim Premji and Infosys Limited's (then Infosys Technologies) now executive co-chairman Kris S. Gopalakrishnan, mark the last time when contributions to the field was recognized by the government of India. While the former was conferred with Padma Vibhushan in 2011 (for 2010), the latter was honored with the Padma Bhushan award the same year.

Even before that, there was a two-year break, after Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy's Padma Vibhushan and HCL Technologies chairman Shiv Nadar's Padma Bhushan award in 2008. Probably, history is repeating itself in vicious cycles.


This year, under Science and Engineering, Prof. Yash Pal from Uttar Pradesh and Prof. Roddam Narasimha from Karnataka have been awarded Padma Vibhushan, besides six Padma Bhushan awardees and 11 Padma Shris.

If not this category, under which IT could certainly be included, there is Trade and Industry. Ramamurthy Thyagarajan of Shriram Group Companies and Godrej group chariman Adi Burjor Godrej have bagged Padma Bhushan this year, with five others - Vandana Luthra (VLCC group), Rajshree Pathy (Rajshree Group of Companies), Hemendra Prasad Barooah (tea baron), Milind Kamble (Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) and Kalpana Saroj (Kamani Tubes) - being recognized with Padma Shri.

This is not to say that valuable contributions to IT should find a mention on a yearly basis, but it would do no harm to the growing reputation of the industry, which is being at the forefront of the country's economic growth chart for the last decade-and-a-half, to say the least.

Apart from serving as a recognition to industry doyens for their untiring work, it would also provide a glimmer of hope for aspiring entrepreneurs in IT and other achievers, who consider the domain their home.

(First published in