Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday released names of as many as 19 persons who have been selected for three categories of civilian awards instituted by the Government of Assam this year. The announcement came after about six months of an official announcement that the state cabinet had approved the institution of a series of four-tier state civilian awards comprising Asam Ratna, Asam Bibhushan, Asam Bhushan and Asam Shri respectively, made in June this year by the state education minister. Going by the Chief Minister's announcement of Saturday, it appears that the categories of awards have been reduced to three and the nomenclatures have been changed to Asam Vaibhav, Asam Saurabh and Asam Gaurav. It is not a bad idea to have a set of state awards to recognize those persons who have contributed towards the overall development of the state through their respective areas of work and expertise. Several persons who had made sterling contributions to the socio-economic development of Assam in the past 75 years since Independence have left this world without any recognition, be it by the government or by civil society. They include persons who had played a pivotal role in the establishment of Gauhati University and some other important educational institutions, in setting up public sector industries through proper utilization of the state's natural resources, in making scientific and technical inventions, in the uplifting status of women, in eradicating social evils, in protecting the environment, in eradicating illiteracy, in empowering youth, in promoting science education and scientific temperament, in bringing Assam's issues to national focus, in telling Assam's stories to the outside world, in raising the standard of literature, cinema and sports, to name a few. It may be recalled that successive governments in Assam had in the past 40 years or so instituted a large number of awards, many of which have not been given away for several years. While the new awards have been instituted, it is also imperative that a thorough review is made of the awards instituted earlier.