New Delhi, November 9
President Ram Nath Kovind today presented seven Padma Vibhushan, including to archaeologist BB Lal, who had led an excavation at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in the mid-1970s, and late singer musician SP Balasubrahmanyam, 10 Padma Bhushan and 103 Padma Shri for the year 2021. Indian-American engineering scientist Narinder Singh Kapany, born in Moga in 1926 and who died last year, was given Padma Vibhushan too. Known as the “father of fibre optics”, Kapany coined the term fibre optics and “laid the foundation for today’s high-speed Internet technology”.
Padma Vibhushan was also presented to cardiologist Dr Belle Monappa Hegde (medicine), sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo (arts) and Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (posthumously). Japan’s longest-serving PM Shinzo Abe, who was awarded Padma Vibhushan, was not present at the event to receive the award. Tarlochan Singh, press secretary to former President Giani Zail Singh who has vast administrative experience in various capacities in Punjab and Central governments, was presented Padma Bhushan. Jitender Singh Shunty, a Delhi-based Sikh and the founder of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal that helped people during Covid, was presented Padma Shri. The second important award, the Padma Bhushan, was presented to former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan (public affairs), top bureaucrat Nripendra Mishra (civil service) and posthumously to former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi (public affairs), Ram Vilas Paswan (public affairs) and former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel (public affairs).
Honouring the talents across fields, the Padma Shri awards were presented to Sarod and Afghan Rabani player Ustad Gulfam Ahmed (arts), basketball player P Anitha (sports), Assam banker Laxmi Baruah (social work), Rajni Bector (trade and industry), folk artist Gopiram Bargayn Burabhakat (arts), retired principal Sujit Chatterjee aka Chattopadhyay (literature and education), Ladakh’s Tsultrim Chonjor (social work), painter from Bihar Dulari Devi (arts), dancer Prof Iyu Bhuyan (arts), Gujarati poet and folk singer Dadudan Gadhvi (posthumous, arts), Haryana’s Professor Jai Bhagwan Goyal (literature and education), mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh Dr Anshu Jamsenpa (sports), folk singer Purnamasi Jani (arts), author Namdev Chandrabhan Kamble (literature and education) and Dr Rajat Kumar Kar (literature and education) among others.
Through the Padma awards, the government seeks to recognise “work of distinction” in various fields such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry.
The Padma awards are given in three categories—Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri—and announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service, Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field. — TNS
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