President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday conferred the Padma awards to 56 of the 112 personalities, chosen for this year’s honour, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
The Padma awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the second, third and fourth highest civilian awards of the country respectively, only after Bharat Ratna.
Malayalam actor Mohanlal, Rajya Sabha MP and SAD leader Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Lok Sabha MP and BJP leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav were among those who were bestowed with the Padma Bhushan award.
The President conferred the Padma Bhushan award (posthumous) upon veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar. His wife Bharti Nayar received the award.
Prominent personalities conferred with the Padma Shri award included — director and actor Prabhu Deva for the field of art – dance, singer and music director Shankar Mahadevan, veteran actor Kader Khan (posthumous), Bajrang Punia for the field of sports- Wrestling, Indian national kabaddi team’s captain Ajay Thakur and table tennis player Sharath Kamal and grandmaster Harika Dronavalli.
Former Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Indian percussionist Anandan Sivamani were also bestowed with the prestigious Padma Shri award at the function.
Four recipients were bestowed with the Padma Vibhushan award — Singer Teejan Bai from Chhattisgarh (art-vocals-folk), Anilkumar Manibhai Naik from Maharashtra (trade and industry-infrastructure), Balwant Moreshwar Purandare from Maharashtra (art-acting-theatre) and Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh (public affairs).
The remaining awardees are likely to be conferred the honour at another function to be held later this month.
This year’s awardees comprised four Padma Vibhushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri recipients.
The Padma awards, which were announced on the eve of Republic Day, include 21 women and 11 persons from the category of foreigners, NRI, PIO, OCI and one transgender person.
The government had received nearly 50,000 nominations for this year’s Padma awards.