President Ram Nath Kovind today conferred the prestigious Padma awards on 60 personalities including former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, archaeologist Bibi Lal, bureaucrat Nripendra Mashri, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumatri Mahajan, former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
Four celebrities were honored with Padma Vibhushan, five Padma Bhushan and 51 personalities with Padma Shri in the first phase of the decoration ceremony held at the grand Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday. Several dignitaries including Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah were present on the occasion.
Abe, former Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India B B Lal, cardiologist Dr Belle Monapp Hegde and sculptor Sudarshan Sahu were awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian honour. Mahajan, Paswan, Gogoi, Nripendra Mishra and former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel were awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour.
The award has been given posthumously to Gogoi, Patel and Paswan. Paswan’s son and Gogoi’s wife took the award. The President awarded Padma Shri to 51 personalities including writer and former Goa Governor Mridula Sanhia and Ustad Ghulam Ahmed. Sinha has also been given this honor posthumously.
Padma awards are given for remarkable service in the arts, social service, public life, science, business, medicine, education, sports, literature and other fields.