Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the selection process for picking Padma award winners has been transformed under his government, asserting that more significance has now been given to the nominee's work than name.
In his monthly and this year's first 'Mann ki Baat' address, Modi highlighted works of some winners whose names were announced on the eve of Republic Day, and said common people, who are not living in big cities and not seen in newspapers and TV, have received it.
In the last three years, he said, the selection process has been made online, which has led to transparency and anybody can now nominate people for the honours.
He called upon society to hear the stories of these winners so that they could enrich and inspire others.
Modi also spoke at length about the issue of women empowerment and said women are now moving ahead in all fields. The performance of an all-woman BSF team during the Republic Day parade surprised guests, he said.
Remembering astronaut Kalpana Chawla ahead of her death anniversary on February 1, Modi said she gave out a valuable message to all Indians, especially young girls.
"...Her message is, 'Nothing is impossible for women, if they have a strong will'," said Modi in the 40th edition of "Mann Ki Baat".
Emphasising that women in India are progressing in every field and have amazed the entire world, Modi said several verses of the Holy Vedas were composed by the women.
"Let me tell you that one daughter is equal to 10 sons... The punya (good) we get from 10 sons, we get that from one daughter...," said Modi.
He also praised the "human chain" formed in Bihar against social evils against dowry and child marriage and said flexibility and continuous efforts for self-correction are a hallmark of society.
With Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary falling on January 30, he said no tribute to him can be bigger than following the path shown by him.