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From left: General Bipin Rawat, Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai. Image Credit: ANI/AFP

New Delhi: India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, who died in a helicopter crash in December last year, will be posthumously conferred Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award.

The Home Ministry announced the Padma Awards on the eve of 73rd Republic Day.

General Rawat was headed to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu.

He was India’s, longest-serving four-star General.

General Rawat’s wife Madhulika Rawat and twelve other defence force personnel had also died in the helicopter crash.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google’s Sundar Pichai are among the 17 Padma Bhushan awardees this year.

Indian-American business executives - Nadella, 54, and Pichai, 49 - have been honoured for their contribution in the “trade and industry” category.

Also, former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will be conferred with Padma Bhushan on Republic Day.

Representing the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 2000 to 2011.Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award in India after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan.

The Padma honours are given for exceptional service in different fields - art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service.