The news comes at a time when the Dhoni-led Indian cricket team is going through a tough time in England, trailing 1-2 after two back-to-back demoralising defeats in the five-match Test series.
Dhoni, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009, will become the 10th cricketer to receive the honour -- the third highest in the country -- if the BCCI's recommendation is accepted by the government of India.
Under Dhoni, India have won two limited overs World Cups, including the ODI one at home in 2011.
Last year, India beat England in the final of Champions Trophy to clinch the title.
As far as out-of-form Kohli is concerned, the aggressive batsman has performed well in all formats of the game until the England tour.
The 25-year-old Delhi lad has already amassed 5634 runs in 134 ODIs, emerging as India's mainstay in the recent past. He has already racked up 25 international centuries.