Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister late Kalyan Singh is often called a Hindutva icon, and actor Victor Banerjee was among 65 eminent personalities who were honored with Padma awards by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. This year, the first civilian decoration ceremony was held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 21, in which 54 personalities were presented with Padma awards.
Prominent award winners at the second induction ceremony were Padma Vibhushan recipient Kalyan Singh (posthumously), during whose tenure the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, and classical singer Prabha Atre. Singh’s son Rajveer Singh, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Etah in Uttar Pradesh, received the honour.
The Padma Bhushan recipients include actors Victor Banerjee, and Krishna Murthy Ella and Suchitra Krishna Ella of Bharat Biotech, the maker of the coronavirus vaccine Covaxin, an official statement said. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among those nominated for the Padma Bhushan. However, he was absent from Monday’s programme.
The recipients of the Padma Shri award include the country’s first individual Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra. This year, no name was announced for India’s highest civilian award ‘Bharat Ratna’, which was last presented in 2019 to former President Pranab Mukherjee, social reformer Nanaji Deshmukh and noted singer Bhupen Hazarika. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda were also present on the occasion.
The awards are presented in three categories – the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, and the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award. Awarded ‘Padma Vibhushan’ for exceptional and distinguished service, ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of a high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
These awards are given in various disciplines such as arts, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service. The awards are announced every year on the eve of Republic Day and are presented by the President at functions organized by the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Since 2014, when it came to power for the first time, the Modi government is conferring Padma awards on several “unsung heroes” who are contributing to the society in various ways. This year’s total list includes four Padma Vibhushan, 17 Padma Bhushan and 107 Padma Shri awards.
Thirty-four of the awardees are women and the list includes 13 posthumous awardees, besides 10 in the foreigners category, non-resident Indians and Overseas Citizens of India. Former West Bengal chief minister and CPI-M leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was among the Padma Bhushan awardees, had refused to accept the honour.
Read also | 125-year-old Swami Sivananda bowed before PM Modi before receiving the Padma Shri. See how PM responded
Read also | President Kovind presented the Padma Awards 2022 at the Civil Endowment Ceremony-I. Highlight
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