The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been awarding National Awards every year since 1969 in recognition of skills contribution of persons with disabilities, individuals and institutions engaged in the empowerment of persons with disabilities. The National Awards are administered under the guidelines of the National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The Department confers national awards to commemorate the ‘International Day of Persons with Disabilities’ which falls on 3rd December every year. The ceremony of National Awards is held at Vigyan Bhawan and the National Awards are presented through the Hon’ble President or Hon’ble Vice President of India and therefore it is very prestigious event for the Department and a source of great inspiration for the Divyangjan .
The guidelines for National Awards for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities had been revised and implemented from the year 2021.
Since 2021, the number of National Awards has been rationalized keeping in view the programmes/schemes of the Department. Now there are only two broad categories i.e. one category for individual excellence and another for institutional empowerment. In the earlier guidelines, there were 14 broad categories and 71 national awards were given, while under the revised guidelines, the total number of awards in both categories will be maximum 34.