India cricket captain Virat Kohli, Olympic heroes Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar, silver medal-winning paralympian Deepa Malik and singer Kailash Kher were among over 70 personalities awarded the prestigious Padma Shri this year.
The Padma Bhushan was awarded to seven people, including Thailand’s Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Journalist and political satirist Cho Ramaswamy was conferred the posthumously.
The Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, was conferred on NCP chief Sharad Pawar, BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi and singer KJ Yesudas among seven awardees. Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister of and BJP veteran Sunder Lal Patwa and former Lok Sabha speaker PA Sangma were awarded posthumously.
Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour, will not be conferred on anybody this year.
Among the other awardees in the Padma Vibhushan category were Prof Udipi Ramachandra Rao, former Chairman of ISRO, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, spiritual master, yogi and mystic who has 70 lakh volunteers across the world.
The number of Padma awardees this year is 89, which includes seven recipients each for Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. Out of this, 19 of the awardees are women. The list also includes five persons from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and six posthumous awardees.
For the first time, the Padma list does not include any Bollywood actor.
Yoga Guru Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, father of laparoscopic surgery in India Tehemton Udwadia, Grammy awardee and Hindustani classical instrumentalist Vishwa Mohan Bhat, Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhron were among seven people selected for Padma Bhushan.
Well known endocrinologist M M Godbole, film critic Bhawana Somaaya, Farsi writer K N Pandita and French historian Michel Danino were among others who were selected for Padma Shri awards. The government had received 18,000 nominations this time out of which 4,000 were submitted online.