New Delhi, Mar.31: President Pranab Mukherjee presented coveted Padma Awards to eminent personalities, the civilian honour in fields of social work, public affairs, medicine, sports, literature, education, science and engineering, trade and industry, at an investiture ceremony in New Delhi on Monday.
The Padma Awards are given in three categories – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
On Monday, the President conferred two Padma Vibhushan, 12 Padma Bhushan and 53 Padma Shri at a glittering ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Among those who attended the function were Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath and other bigwigs from different fields.
This year, a total 127 Padma Awardees were announced, out of which 27 are women and 10 are foreigners, Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and the list included posthumous awardees as well.
At the event, President honoured renowned scientist Raghunath Anant Mashelkar with Padma Vibhushan for his noted contributions to the field of science and technology.
Bollywood actor Kamal Hassan, author Ruskin Bond, former badminton player and coach Pullela Gopichand were awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Among the noted Padma Shri awardees were Bollywood actress Vidya Balan, squash player Dipika Rebecca Pallikal and sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik.
The awards were announced on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26. (ANI)