Khanna, who passed away in July last year, was conferred with India's third highest civilian honour on Friday.
"We are thankful to the government for the recognition," Akshay told reporters here today.
The 45-year-old actor, who was here for the promotion of his upcoming film Special 26, also championed the cause of the girl child, saying that the government should come up with a scheme to provide financial support to families welcoming a female newborn.
The 45-year-old actor, who became the father of a daughter in September 2012 after wife Twinkle Khanna gave birth to a baby girl, said that the nation needs to promote the birth of a female child and a positive atmosphere for them to grow was required for a healthy society.
"We need to tell people that there is nothing wrong with the birth of girls. There are some places in the country where even today the birth of a daughter is not welcomed and we need to change the situation," Akshay said.
"Government and we should help them financially. There should be a government scheme which involves monetary benefit on the birth of a girl child so that their birth could be promoted. I work for this cause and promote this," he added.
Talking about his film, Akshay said 'Special 26' was an entertaining movie with a lesson for people that some unexpected ugly incidents could be averted with vigilance.
"This is a movie about fake and real CBI officers. It tells us how we can prevent an unwanted event from happening with vigilance. We need to be careful about the identities of the watchmen, security guards and others in general," he said.
The film's leading lady Kajal Aggarwal said that she was lucky to work with actors like Aksay Kumar and Manoj Bajpayee.
Earlier in the morning, Akshay flagged off a 6-KM 'Dream Run' at Ramniwas garden which was organised by Sanskriti Yuva Sansthan.
Nearly 40,000 people participated in the dream run and marathon.