New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has decided to institute a new annual award in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man of India, for individuals and police personnel, who have dedicated themselves towards strengthening unity in the country. The award will be unique in itself as it will recognise and honour people who have in their individual capacity played a role in building the nation.

The government has also planned to carry out a mega show at par with Republic Day on October 31 — the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel — at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.

The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has been assigned the task to prepare modalities for the annual award.

Sources said that a committee would be constituted to select the officers as well as individuals and their work will be thoroughly vetted by the Central Intelligence agencies. It is reliably learnt that the annual award in name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will not be based on merely recommendation or nomination.

“It will purely be based on recipients work and dedication towards the country,” a senior officer told this newspaper.

Sources said the government has also directed all the state police organisations to organise a parade at par with Republic Day at the Statue of Unity. A directive issued by the government said that the annual celebration of Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary should be organised on October 31 at the Statue of Unity, with a joint exhibition and parade by a combination of three to four different states every year.

It said that the celebration should be as grand as the Republic Day Parade on Rajpath in New Delhi.

The Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue is constructed at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore.

While dedicating the 182-metre sculpture to the nation, Mr Modi had said that the statue will be a reminder to the nation of Sardar Patel’s courage to thwart conspiracies to disintegrate India.

Also to honour the country’s first home minister,  President Ram Nath Kovind while giving assent to legislation for bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — had stated that these union territories will come into existence on October 31.

Last week, the Parliament had given its nod to the legislation for bifurcating the state, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement.