M A I N   N E W S

Padma Awards for Dixit, Shah Rukh
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
Cinestar Shah Rukh Khan, late National Security Adviser J.N. Dixit, Wipro chairman Azim Premji, highest wicket taker for India Anil Kumble, film producer Yash Chopra, cartoonist R.K. Laxman, noted Sufi singer Puran Chand Wadali and social worker Gladys Staines are among the 96 persons who have been conferred with this year’s Padma Awards.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam approved names of nine persons for this year’s Padma Vibushan Awards which included Laxman, Dixit, Attorney-General Milon Kumar Benerji, former Sadar-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir Karan Singh and noted social worker Mohan Dharia.

The other recipients of Padma Vibushan include Dr Bal Krishan Goyal for medicine, Bhai Mohan Singh for trade and industry, Dr M.V.S. Valiathan for medicine and Ram Narayan for his contribution in the field of arts in Maharashtra.

As many as 30 persons, including renowned film director and producer Yash Chopra, former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Girish Chander Saxena, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Syed Mir Qassim, dental surgeon Anil Kohli and noted cardiologist Tarlochan Singh Kler are to be awarded the Padma Bhushan.

Puran Chand Wadali Famous playback singer Manna Dey, Punjabi classical and Sufi singer Puran Chand Wadali and Wipro chairman Azim Premji have been awarded Padma Bhushan for their contribution in art and trade and industry, respectively.

Other recipients of Padma Bhushan Award include former BBC correspondent Mark Tully, historians Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar, noted economist Mrinal Datta Chaudhuri, sociologist Andre Beteille and educationist Balraj Puri.

Magsaysay Award winner Chandi Prasad Bhatt and famous AIIMS cardiologist K. Srinath Reddy have also been conferred with the honour.

Wife of slain Australian social worker Graham Staines, Gladys Staines, highest wicket-taker for India Anil Kumble, lone medallist in Olympic 2004 Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, cinestar Shah Rukh Khan and vice-chairperson of Hindustan Times Shobhana Bhartia and renowned Kashmiri singer Shameem Dev Azad get the Padma Shri.

Academician Jagtar Singh Grewal from Punjab, Sunita Narain, whose NGO created a stir by bringing to public knowledge the pesticide content in soft drinks, noted Civil Liberties lawyer Indira Jaisingh, dancer Komala Vardhan, playback singer Kavita Krishnamurti, journalist Mammen Mathew, film producer Muzaffar Ali and former All-England badminton champion Pullela Gopichand are among other noted personalities awarded the Padma Shri.

Social Workers Sushil Sahai (Uttar Pradesh), Theilin Phanbuh (Meghalaya), science and engineering scholar Vasudevan Gnana Gandhi (Kerala), Prof Veer Singh Mehta (medicine), Manipuri dancer Sougaijam Thanil Singh, and Dr P.N. Vasudeva Kurup (medicine), from Gujarat are among the 57 Padma Shri awardees.


Kirti Chakra for Capt Malik
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25
The Army’s Special Forces Captain Sajjan Singh Malik, who died while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, has been awarded the Kirti Chakra while Athens Olympics silver medalist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore has been awarded the country’s second highest defence award on the eve of the 56th Republic Day.

In the awards announced today, armed forces personnel have also been honoured with Uttam Yuddh Seva Medal and Yuddh Sena Medal. However, Capt Malik has been awarded the second most important gallantry award of the country given away from the battlefield.

A Defence Ministry spokesman here said that Capt Malik has been awarded the Kirti Chakra (posthumously) for killing three terrorists in an encounter on the night of July 7 last year in Gundpura village of Baramulla district before falling to enemy fire.

The Rajasthan-born Capt Malik was commissioned into the Special Forces in December, 2001, soon after passing out of the Indian Military Academy.

Capt Malik had been tracking a group of terrorists for a month before the encounter and ambushed them while they were leaving Gundpura in the early hours of July 7. Two terrorists were killed in his own fire, but Capt Malik was hit by three bullets.

Ignoring injuries, he motivated his troops to surround a third terrorist and prevent him from escaping. Throwing grenades, he closed in on the terrorist and gunned him down from close range before falling to his injuries, the spokesman said.

“Capt Malik succumbed to his injuries, sacrificing his life in the best traditions of the Indian Army,” he said.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Capt. Malik was a native of Rajgarh in Churu district of Rajasthan.

Rathore, who has the distinction of being India’s only individual silver medal in the Olympics has also got the distinction of being the first officer to be honoured with an AVSM while still being at the battalion commander rank.

The other who have been awarded on the occasion of Republic day are Director General of Military Operations Lt-Gen A.S. Bahia and Director General Armed Forces Medical Services Lt-Gen J.R. Bhardwaj who have been awarded the distinguished service medals.

The official spokesperson said this year the Presidential Awards include 29 to be given posthumously — three Shaurya Chakras and 26 Sena Medals (Gallantry).

In all, 19 Army personnel have been named for the Param Vishishtha Seva Medal, three for the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, 32 (including one Bar) for the Ati Vishishtha Seva Medal, five for the Shaurya Chakra and 12 for the Yudh Seva Medal.

Besides, 102 personnel (including two Bars) have been awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry) while 39 (including one Bar) receive the Sena Medal (Distinguished Service).

Another 76 Army personnel (including 5 Bars) receive the Vishishtha Seva Medal and 42 personnel have been Mentioned in Despatches, the spokesman said.

Some notable recipients of the PVSM — besides DGMO Bahia and DGAFMS Bhardwaj — include Engineer-in-Chief of the Army Lt-Gen Mathew Mammen, Signals Officer-in-Chief Lt-Gen Davinder Kumar, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Army Training Command Lt-Gen K. Nagaraj, Director-General Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Lt-Gen V.K. Dhir, DG Supplies and Transport Lt-Gen Jagdish Chander, and DG Manpower Planning and Personnel Services Lt-Gen Rana S.K. Kapur.

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