Padma Awards Conferred by Pranab Mukherjee

On Friday, President Pranab Mukherjee honored 108 personalities with the Padma Arards, which are regarded as the highest civilian awards in our country.  The awards comprise of 80 Padma Shri, 24 Padma Bhushan and 4 Padma Vibhushan Awards.

 Actress Sharmila Tagore received the Padma Bhushan award whereas Sri Devi received the Padma Shri award.

 Padma Vibhushan is the country’s second highest civilian awards, and it was awarded to sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra. Telugu producer D Ramanaidu received the Padma Bhushan award for his outstanding contribution to the Indian Cinema. The Padma Shree was awarded to theatre personality B Jayashree, photographer Pablo Bartholomev, boxer Dingko Singh and entrepreneur Vandada Luthra. The Padma Bhushan will be conferred on Mary Kom and Adi Godrej in the next batch of awards.

 Actor Rajesh Khanna and comedian Jaspal Bhatti, both passed away last year, and they will receive the Padma Bhushan in the next batch of awards as well. They are among the five people who have been chosen for the civilian honor posthumously. Although, this is not normally done, the government made an exception under the rules of these awards for these 5 cases. The rule says, “The government can consider the highly deserving case if the demise of the person proposed to be honored has been within a period of one year preceding the Republic Day on which it is proposed to announce the award.”

 In the past, this exception was made for music director and singer Bhupen Hazarika last year.

 Rahul Dravid received the Padma Bhushan for his outstanding contribution on the field of Cricket. He scored over 25,000 runs in International Cricket before retiring last year. This is just another feather added to his cap. Pal, Raza and Narasimha were also conferred with the Padma Vibhushan.

 The list of honors was announced on 25th January 2013 and the selection committee included scientist Anil Kakodkar, actress Ratna Pathak Shah, Union Home Secretary RK Singh among the others.

 The Bharat Ratna was not awarded to anyone this year as well. In fact, the last Bharat Ratna was conferred in 2008 to late Bhimsen Joshi. The Padma Shri will be given to the Sholay director Ramesh Sippy, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, actor Nana Patekar and shooter Vijay Kumar.

 Of the award winners this year, 24 are women. 11 of the awardees belong to the category of foreigners, PIOs, NRI and posthumous. Among the foreigners, 1 each is from Japan, Bangladesh and UK, whereas 6 are from the United States.