Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna, actors Sharmila Tagore and Sridevi, cricketer Rahul Dravid, Olympic medallists Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar and scientist Prof Yashpal are among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Padma awards.
Country’s highest civilian awards for 2013 include 108 names of which four will get Padma Vibhushan, 24 Padma Bhushan and 80 Padma Shri. Among the awardees 24 are women, 6 persons in the category of foreigners, NRIs and PIOs while 6 will be conferred posthumously.
The lion’s share of Padma awards this year goes to union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s home state, Maharashtra that grabbed 25 awards, while Delhi with 20 Padma awards is second. Union home ministry is the nodal ministry that holds meeting of the screening committee and finalises Padma awards.
Given in the field of art, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, trade and industry, medicine, sports, civil service, literature and education, the Padma awards will be conferred by the president Pranab Mukherjee at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhawan in March/ April.
The honour for Rajesh Khanna, who died on 18 July last year, comes at an opportune time when the Indian film industry is celebrating its 100 year of existence. The top most Padma award, Padma Vibhushan is being given to Prof Yashpal and Prof. Rodham Narsimha for science and engineering and Haider Raza and Raghunath Mohapatra for arts.
The Padma Bhushan awardees include Rajesh Khanna (posthumous), D Ramanaidu, Rahul Dravid, Sushil Kumar, Mary Kom and Sharmlia Tagore.
Among the recipients of Padma Shri are - Sridevi, Ramesh Sippy, Ritu Kumar, Kailesh Kher, Vijay Kumar, Fauza Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Alok Kumar, Hilda Mit Lepcha, Mizoram educationist J Malsawma, Noted Assamese tea industrialist Hemendra Prasad Barooah, Xatriya dance exponent Ghanakanta Bora Borbayan, mountaineer Premlata Agrawal, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, Para athlete Hosanagara Nagarajegowda Girisha, London Olympic silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar, boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh and rower Bajrang Lal.