Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former diplomat Brajesh Mishra and Telugu thespian A Nageshwara Rao were chosen for country's second highest civilian award--Padma Vibhushan--this year.
A sprinkling of eminent personalities from Bollywood, art, literary, sports, trade and industry and civil services were among the 128 persons chosen for this year's Padma awards announced on the eve of Republic Day. The goernment made no announcement about Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award.
Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who died yesterday, was the last awardee in this category in 2008.
Hindi film veterans Shashi Kapoor, Waheda Rehman, music composer Khayyam and playback singer S P Balasubramanyam were named among the Padma Bhushan awardees.
Tabasum Hashmi Khan alias Tabu and Kajol were chosen in the Padma Shri category. Former Attorney General and eminent jurist K Parasaran, art historian Kapila Vatsayan, India's first woman photographer Homai Vyarawalla, Malayalam writer O N V Kurup and Oriya literary personality Sitakant Mohapatra, late Gandhian L C Jain, former Governor A R Kidwai, Chairperson of 13th Finance Commission Vijay Kelkar, distinguished materials scientist P Rama Rao are the other personalities chosen for the Padma Vibhushan award.
In sports, those selected for Padma Shri awards were cricketer V V S Laxman, weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, wrestler Sushil Kumar, ace shooter Gangan Narang and discus thrower Krishna Poonia.
Former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, Industrialist Yogi Deveshwar, banker Chanda Kochar, Infosys executive Kris Gopalakrishnan, K Anji Reddy of Reddy labs, Rajinder Singh Pawar, former civil servants M N Buch and Surinder Singh, Kathakali artist M Vasudevan Nair, theatre personality from Maharashtra Satyadev Dubey, were listed in the Padma Bhushan category.
The other Padma Shri awardees included playback singer Usha Uthap, bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, Kashmir University Vice chancellor Riyaz Punjabi, Tamil literary personality Dr Avvai Natarajan, Dogri writer Devi Dutt Sharma and former Delhi Univesity Upendra Baxi.
Subra Suresh, Director of National Science Foundation in the US and an advisor of President Barack Obama, and Gene Campaign activist Suman Sahai were those selected in the science category in Padma awards.