Superstar Rajinikanth, founder of the Reliance empire late Dhirubhai Ambani, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and media baron Ramoji Rao have been chosen for Padma Vibhushan, country’s second highest civilian award, this year. Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan, former DRDO chief V K Aatre, cancer specialist and chairperson of Adyar Cancer Institute Dr V Shanta and eminent Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancer Yamini Krishnamurthi and classical vocalist Girija Devi and Indian-American economist Avinash Dixit have also been named for Padma Vibhushan on the occasion of this year’s Republic Day celebrations.
Noted actor Anupam Kher, singer Udit Narayan, former CAG Vinod Rai, chairperson of media group Bennett, Coleman & Co Indu Jain, sports star Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal, spiritual leaders late Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Tejomayananda and former US Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill are among the 19 eminent people chosen for Padma Bhushan.
Industrialist Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava and eminent architect Hafeez Contractor also figure in the list of Padma Bhushan awardees.
Renowned sculptor Ram V Sutar, Manipuri theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal, Hindi and Telugu writer Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad, Sanskrit scholar N S Ramanuja Tatacharya, Punjabi journalist Barjinder Singh Hamdard, gastroenterologist D Nageshwar Reddy and scientist A V Rama Rao have been chosen for Padma Bhushan.
Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam, who was the prosecution counsel in the Mumbai terror attack case, actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra get Padma Shri.
Actor, the late Saeed Jaffrey, CEO of MasterCard Ajaypal Singh Banga, archer Deepika Kumari, Bharatanatyam dancer Prathibha Prahlad, Gujarati folk musician Bhikhudan Gadhvi, Goa’s musician Tulsidas Borkar and scientist Onkar Nath Srivastava were among those who were named for Padma Shri awards.