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Unfair awards

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The patently skewed distribution of awards by the government has always been an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. TOI reports how a team of doctors now diagnoses the problem:

Doctors from Delhi seem to have an undue advantage when it comes to receiving the prestigious Padma awards. And, cardiologists and cardiac surgeons make the grade more often in the hallowed list.

An interesting analysis — "Doctors and the Padma Awards" — published in National Medical Journal of India on Tuesday lists that 1,166 Padma awards were announced between 2000 and 2010. Of these, 157 (13.4%) were from the field of medicine.

Of the 137 awardees in medicine, 62 (45%) were from Delhi, 18 (13%) from Maharashtra and 17 (12%) from Tamil Nadu. There were less than 10 representatives from other states in the corresponding period.

Cardiologists received a greater proportion (43%) of the Padma Vibhushan awards. The other awardees were from Orthopedics (1), Neurology (1) and general medicine (1) discipline. Around 36% of the Padma Bhushans and 18% of the Padma Shris were conferred on cardiac specialists.

“The over representation of Delhi and cardiology in the Padma awards for medicine suggests that their distribution is not entirely fair,” the study observed.

It explained, “This data is interesting on many accounts. Nearly half the awards were bestowed on Delhi doctors who were likely to have treated the politicians and bureaucrats who made the decisions. This skewed bias towards Delhi and towards the specialty of cardiology raises some questions about the representative nature of these awards and the selection process.”

How many film stars, cricket players and politicians? How many teachers? What about the other awards given by the government: the awards for writers, artists, scientists? Time someone makes an analysis of these.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

February 23, 2011 at 3:53 am

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