Padma Awards, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field including service rendered by Government servants. The recommendations for Padma Awards are received from the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, Central Ministries/Departments, Institutions of Excellence, etc. which are considered by an Awards Committee. On the basis of the recommendations of the Awards Committee, and after approval of the Home Minister, Prime Minister and President, the Padma Awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day.
Source: India Book - A Reference Annual