Brajesh Mishra, Azim Premji, Montek in list of 128 Padma awardees (Intro Roundup)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - Former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra, Wipro chief Azim Premji, Planning Commission head Montek Singh Ahluwalia, culture czarina Kapila Vatsyayan and nonagenarian photographer Homai Vyarawalla head the list of the 128 Padma awards announced by the government Tuesday on the occasion of Republic Day.

The eight others who got the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award, include atomic energy scientist P.K. Iyer, educationist A.R. Kidwai, energy expert Vijay Kelkar, litterateurs O.N.V. Kurup and Sitakant Mahapatra and the late Gandhian economist L.C. Jain.

There was no Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, for the third year running. The last person to get it was Bhimsen Joshi in 2008. The music maestro passed away Tuesday.

The list has 128 names — 13 Padma Vibhushans, 31 Padma Bhushans and 84 Padma Shri awards. There are 31 women in the list.

The third highest awards, the Padma Bhushans, were dominated by 12 personalities from the world of art and cinema, including the ailing Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor and Waheeda Rahman, music director Khayyam, theatre personality Satyadev Dubey as well as eminent painters Krishen Khanna and Arpita Singh.

Eight people got the Padma Bhushan for their work in the field of trade and industry. Among them were ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar, Infosys’ Kris Gopalakrishnan, Ranbaxy’s Analjit Singh, NIIT’s Rajendra Singh Pawar, GVK Group’s G.V.K. Reddy and HCL’s Ajai Chowdhary.

Former foreign secretary and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy Shyam Saran has also been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

The 84 Padma Shris include eight NRIs/foreigners. Of the 84, 21 have got it for their role in art, including cinema, dance, puppetry and theatre.

Cinema is represented by Malayali actor Jayaram Subramanian, Bollywood actors Tabu, Kajol and Irrfan Khan as well as eminent Malayalam director Shaji Neelakantan Karun and Kannada filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli.

Classical dancers Sunayana Hazariklal (kathak), K.K. Pavithran (mohiniattam) and M.K. Saroja (bharatnatyam) also figure in the list. Classical musicians get representation from people such as Ajoy Chakraborty (Indian classical music) and S.R. Janakiraman (Carnatic vocal music).

Renowned puppeteer Dadi Pudumjee has been named too as has old-time pop artist Usha Utthup and folk artists like Makar Dhwaja Darogha for Chhau dance.

There are six people who have got the Padma Shri for social work and seven in the category of sports. These include Sushil Kumar for wrestling, cricketer V.V.S. Laxman, Gagan Narang for shooting and discus thrower Krishna Poonia.

Nineteen names are in the list from the world of literature and education. Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon who started the women’s publishing house Kali for Women are amongst the winners.

Awards have also been announced in the fields of nursing, archaeology and heritage conservation.

The Padma awards will be conferred by President Patil at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan later this year.

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