Indian Space Research Organisation chairman G Madhavan Nair, Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, historian Ramachandra Guha and noted billiard player Pankaj Advani were among the 63 personalities who received the Padma awards in New Delhi on Tuesday. The recipients also include social activist Sunderlal Bahuguna and veteran actor Helen Khan. President Prathibha Patil gave away the Padma awards at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
While Nair received the Padma Vibhushan, Bindra and Guha received the Padma Bhusan. Advani and Helen also received the Padma Shree award. Cricketers M S Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh, who were announced as Padma Shri winners, were not present at the function.
The Padma Vibhushan winners also include Debi Prasad Chattopadhyaya, who is chairman of the Centre for Studies in Civilisation and cardiologist Purshotam Lal. Bhakta Bhusan Rath, who is the head of the Materials Science and Component Technology Directorate at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, and economist Isher Judge Ahluwalia were conferred the Padma Bhusan.
The Padma Bhushan winners include Brijendra Kumar Rao, a doctor at the Sri Ganga Ram Hospital, founder of Chennai Mathematical Institute C S Seshadri, agriculture scientist G S Randhawa, educationist and social activist N R Nayakwadi and musicologist and academician R C Mehta.
Besides them, president of Women's Indian Association, Chennai Sarojini Varadappan, scientist and educationist S S Katiyar, former army officer Lieutenant General (retired) Satish Nambiar, editor-in-chief of Indian Express Shekhar Gupta and professor of Economics at Stanford University Thomas Kailath also received the Padma Bhushan.
The Padma Shree awards were conferred to 45 personalities. They include veteran radio presenter Ameen Sayani, music director Hridaynath Mangeshkar and singer Udit Narayan. Eminent singer and music composer of Meghalaya S S Syiemlieh and cultural luminary of Assam Tafazzul Ali were awarded the Padma Shree posthumously by the President.