February 5, 2023

padma: Padma Vibhushan for Gen Rawat, Kalyan; Bhushan for Ghulam Nabi | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: General Bipin Rawat, the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff who died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu last month, and late BJP leader Kalyan Singh who served as UP chief minister at the time of the Babri Masjid demolition, have been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.
Kalyan Singh occupies a distinguished spot in the saffron pantheon as he refused to order firing on kar sevaks on the day the Babri Masjid was demolished. A prominent OBC politician, his playbook has been used by BJP to record sweeping electoral success in polls in UP since 2014.
The founders of the two companies making Covid-19 vaccines in India — Cyrus Poonawalla of the Serum Institute of India and Dr Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech — figure among the Padma Bhushan awardees along with Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Narayana Nadella, Google CEO Sundarrajan Pichai, Natarajan Chandrasekaran of Tata Sons, and Sanjaya Rajaram, the Varanasi-born Mexican scientist who developed more than 450 high-yield varieties of wheat.
The other two members in the Padma Vibhushan list are late Radheyshyam Khemka, one of the leading lights of Gita Press, the Gorakhpur-based legendary institution which played a key role in popularising Hindu religious texts, and Prabha Atre, the renowned Indian classical vocalist from Maharashtra.
The 17 Padma Bhushan awardees also include senior Congress leader and former J&K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, an influential figure of the dissident G-23 group, and CPM veteran Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who headed the last Left Front government in West Bengal. Bhattacharjee, however, has turned down the award. Devendra Jhajharia, the javelin thrower who has pulled off the unique feat of winning two golds and one slilver in three consecutive Paralympics, has also been awarded Padma Bhushan.
Late Guru Prasad Mahapatra, who as industry secretary worked tirelessly to augument oxygen supply during the second Covid-19 wave despite having been infected by the virus, has been awarded Padma Shri, while former Comptroller and Auditor General Rajiv Mehrishi, figures among the Padma Bhushan winners.
Besides Tokyo Olympics gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, the sportspersons who have been awarded Padma Shri include shuttler Pramod Bhagat, a gold medal winner at the Tokyo Paralympics, javelin thrower Sumit Antil, and shooter Avani Lekhara, India’s first paralympic women champion.
Padma Shri has been conferred on Vandana Kataria of the Indian women’s hockey team who scored the maximum goals in the Tokyo Games and holds the record of being the first Indian female player to score a hat-trick, and veteran footballer from Goa, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar.
Padma Bhushan awardees also include actor Victor Banerjee and globally celebrated chef and food columnist Madhur Jaffrey.
Bollywood playback singer Sonu Nigam, veteran Tamil actress S Janaki, first woman vice-chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia Najma Akhtar, Sanghmitra Bandyopadhya, first women to head the Indian Statistical Institute, and Chandraprakash Dwivedi, film director and actor who played the role of Chanakya, Punjab folk singer Gurmeet Bawa, Paralympic javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, Hindustani classical singer Rashid Khan, Odia author Pratibha Ray, Swami Sachindanand, the social reformer known for his work in disaster relief, and jurisprudence scholar Vashishth Tripathi are the other names in Padma Bhushan list.
The Padma Shri list, like the past few years, also has a good smattering of unheralded names: Akhone Asgar Ali Basharat, Balti poet from Kargil; Himmatrao Bawaskar who is globally acclaimed for his research on scorpion and snake bites; Tangkha painter from Sikkim Khandu Wangchuk Bhutia; Jain spiritual leader and social worker from Rajgir Acharya Chandanaji; Lavani singer from Kolhapur Sulochana Chavan; 102-year old Gandhian from Kamrup Shakuntala Choudhary; veteran Kalaripayattu guru from Thrissur Sankaranarayana Menon Chundayil; Kashmiri martial arts coach from Bandipore Faisal Ali Dar; water conservationist in drought-prone Maharashtra Savaji Bhai Dholakia; Karbi author Dhaneswar Engti; Nadaswaram player Gosaveedu Shaik Hassan; Bundeli and Braj author Avadh Kishore Jadia; tribal Kinnera player Darshanam Mogilaiah; Buddhist spiritual leader and former abbot of Tawang Monastery Guru Tulku Rinpoche; and prominent social worker from Mohali working with leprosy patients Prem Singh.
Medical professionals who have been conferred Padma Shri include Narendra Prasad Mishra who developed treatment protocols for victims of Bhopal gas tragedy (posthumous), veteran orthopaedic surgeon from Visakhapatnam Sunkara Venkata Adinarayana Rao, ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of pregnancy diabetes Veeraswamy Seshiah, veteran neurologist known for his work on multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease Bhimsen Singhal; and veteran nephrologist from UP Kamlakar Tripathi.

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