Ace badminton player Saina Nehwal, Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Rekha and other eminent persons for their exceptional and distinguished contribution in various fields are the other awardees.
At a glittering ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President conferred the country’s highest civilian awards in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
The awards are given in 13 disciplines/ fields of activities like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.
The awards were announced to 130 recepients, including 6 Padma Vibhushan, 43 Padma Bhushan, 81 Padma Shri and 13 in the category of Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs on the occasion of Republic Day.
There are 17 women among the awardees.
The Padma Vibhushan went to six eminent personalities including Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan, renowned theatre director Ebrahim Alkazi, veteran theatre artiste Zohra Sehgal, former RBI governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy, veteran mridangam exponent Umayalpuram K Sivaraman and Apollo Hospital founder Prathap Chandra Reddy.
Actor Aamir Khan, music maestros A R Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja, danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, artist Akbar Padamsee and Dr Ramakant Panda were among the 43 Padma Bhushan awardees.
Planning Commission member Abhijit Sen and S K Bandyopadhyay received Padma Bhushan in the public affairs category.
Among the 81 Padma Shri awardees were film actors Rekha and Saif Ali Khan, Olympic medallist Vijender Singh, eminent cardiologist K K Agarwal, cricketer Virender Sehwag, ace badminton player Saina Nehwal and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s mentor Ramakant Achrekar.
Hockey national Ignace Tirkey, dhrupad exponent Ustad Faiyaz Wasifuddin Dagar, businesswoman Anu Aga, multi-lingual actress Arundhati Nag, former CBI director D R Karthikeyan, plant scientist Palpu Pushpangadan and eye surgeon Vikas Mahatme were among those who were awarded Padma Shri.