New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, cricket hero Sachin Tendulkar, veteran singer Asha Bhonsle and corporate captains Ratan Tata, L.N. Mittal and N.R. Narayana Murthy were among those named Friday for India's second highest civilian awards on the eve of the country's Republic Day.
The other recipients of Padma Vibhushan include Everest hero Edmund Hillary - who has been honoured posthumously - world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, former chief justice A.S. Anand and former civil servant P.N. Dhar, who was principal secretary to late prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The list of 119 Padma awardees represents the best in their spheres, including public life, arts, science and business. But, unlike previous years, there appeared to be more from the trade and industry and the arts, and less of people from politics and public affairs.
As expected, no Bharat Ratna was awarded this year - perhaps because of the political controversy surrounding it. The last recipients of the Bharat Ratna were Ustad Bismillah Khan and playback singer Lata Mangeshkar in 2001.
As many as 35 people were named for the Padma Bhushan, including commentator Jasdev Singh, author Dominique Lapierre, former home secretary K. Padmanabhiah, sociologist T.K. Oommen, London-based economist Lord Meghnad Desai and Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams.
Corporate India was big in the Padma awards this year as were literary personalities. Apart from Tata, Mittal and Infosys chief Narayana Murthy, hotelier P.R.S. Oberoi was also honoured with the Padma Vibhushan.
ICICI managing director K.V. Kamath, software entrepreneur Shiv Nadar and Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit were chosen for the Padma Bhushan, indicating the increasing recognition of the contribution of the business and economy sectors in the global recognition the country has achieved.
Unlike last year when the announcement of the awards was inordinately delayed, the list came well in time this year.
Seven foreigners figured in the list of Padma awardees this year including Prof Ji Xianlin from China, and Yuli Mikhailovitch Vorontsov (posthumous), the former Soviet ambassador to India who became his country's foreign minister. They were honoured with the Padma Bhushan. Russian artist Gennadi Mikhailovich Pechinkov and Canadian biochemist Joseph H. Hulse were named for the Padma Shri.
News television's star anchors Barkha Dutt and Vinod Dua of NDTV and Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN were named for Padma Shri awards. Prof Amitabh Mattoo, vice-chancellor of Jammu University, was also named for the award.
Literary personalities also constituted a huge chunk of the awardees. Prominent among them were Kaushik Basu, Padma Desai (both Padma Bhushan) and Sukhadeo Thorat and Surjya Kanta Hazarika (Padma Shri).
Thirty-five people have been named for the Padma Bhushan 71 for the Padma Shri.
Full list: 119 get Padma awards
The President of India has approved the names of the 135 persons for conferment of the Padma Awards-2008. The list has 13 Padma Vibhushan awardees, 35 Padma Bhushan and 71 Padma Shri winners.
The Padma Vibhushan winners are Asha Bhosle (Art), Justice (Dr.) A. S. Anand, P.N. Dhar, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee (all three for public affairs), Dr E. Sreedharan, and Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri for science and engineering, Late Mr. Edmund Hillary (Posthumous), Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Viswanathan Anand (all three for sports), Lakshmi Narayan Mittal, N.R. Narayana Murthy, P.R.S. Oberoi, Ratan Naval Tata (all four for trade and industry).
The list of Padma Bhushan awardees has five from the field of art. These are Amarnath Sehgal (Posthumous), Ustad Asad Ali Khan, P. Susheela, Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar and Prof. Sushil Kumar Saxena. For civil service the awardees are Chandrshekhar Dasgupta, K Padmanabhiah and V Ramachandran.
There are nine winners in the field of Literature and Education.These are Prof. Brijinder Nath Goswamy, Prof. Ji Xianlin (China), Prof. Kaushik Basu (USA), Prof. (Smt.) Padma Desai (USA), Ravindra Kelekar, Dr. (Smt.) Shayama Chona, Shri Lal Shukla, Dr. Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan, Prof. T.K. Oommen and Prof. (Dr.) Jagjit Singh Chopra.
Prof. Nirmal Kumar Ganguly has got it for medicine while Mian Bashir Ahmed, Lord Meghnad Desai, Late Mr. Yuli Mikhailovitch Vorontsov (Posthumous) have got Padma Bhushan for public affairs. Prof. Asis Datta, Prof. Sukh Dev have got it for science and engineering.
Indian born astronaut Sunita Williams has got it for astronautics.
Vasant Gowarikar, D.R. Mehta, Dominique Lapierre (France), Dr (Ms.) Inderjit Kaur have got it for social work. Suresh Kumar Neotia, Baba Neelkanth Kalyani, K. V. Kamath, Shiv Nadar and Vikram Pandit have got it for Trade and Industry.
The Padma Shri award list has 71 names. The list consists of Gangadhar Pradhan, Mikhailovich Pechinkov (Russia), Pandit Gokulotsavji Maharaj, Hans Raj Hans, Dr.(Smt.) Helen Giri, Jatin Goswami, Jawahar Wattal, John Martin Nelson, Jonnalagadda Gurappa Chetty, Kekoo M. Gandhy, Madhuri Dixit, Mangala Prasad Mohanty, Manoj Night Shyamalan, Meenakshi Chitharanjan, Moozhikkulam Kochukuttan Chakyar, P.K. Narayanan Nambiar, Pratap Pawar (UK), Sabitri Heisnam, Sentila T. Yanger, Dr. Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram, Tom Alter and Prof. Yella Venkateswara Rao have got it for Art.
Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Dilip Sardesai and Vinod Dua have got it for Journalism.
Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Balasubramanian Sivanthi Adithan, Bholabhai Patel, Dr. (Smt.) Bina Agarwal, Prof. (Dr.) K.S. Nisar Ahmed, Dr. (Smt.) M. Leelavathy, Dr. Nirupam Bajpai, Dr. Srinivas Udgata, Prof. Sukhadeo Thorat, Shri Surjya Kanta Hazarika, Dr. Vellayani Arjunan and Mohammad Yousuf Taing have won it for Literature and Education.
Haji Kaleem Ullah Khan has got Padma Shri for Mango Plantation and Grafting.
Dr. A. Jayanta Kumar Singh, Prof. (Dr.) Arjunan Rajasekaran, Prof. (Dr.) C.U. Velmurugendran, Dr. Deepak Sehgal, Prof. (Dr.) Dinesh K. Bhargava, Dr. Indu Bhushan Sinha, Dr. Keiki R. Mehta, Dr. (Smt.) Malvika Sabharwal, Dr. Mohan Chandra Pant, Dr. Rakesh Kumar Jain, Dr. Raman Kapur, Dr. Randhir Sud, Dr. Shyam Narayan Arya, Prof. (Dr.) Surendra Singh Yadav, Dr. Tatyarao Pundlikrao Lahane and Dr. Tony Fernandez have got it for medicine.
Colette Mathur has got it for public affairs. She is from Switzerland.
Bhavarlal Hiralal Jain, Dr. Joseph H. Hulse (Canada), Prof Kasturi Lal Chopra, Dr. Sant Singh Virmani (USA) have got it for science and engineering. Kailash Chandra Agrawal, Sister Karuna Mary Braganza, Dr. (Smt.) Kshama Metre, Dr. Kutikuppala Surya Rao, Madan Mohan Sabharwal, Dr. (Ms.) Sheela Barthakur, V.R. Gowrishankar, Vikramjit Singh Sahney and Yousaf Ali Musaliamveettil Abdul Kader of UAE have been awarded the Padma Shri for social work.
Baichung Bhutia and Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty have got it for sports.
Dr. Amit Mitra has got it for trade and industry.