On the eve of Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the conferment of 119 Padma Awards. The Union Home Ministry on Monday announced the list of names of the recipients for the Padmas. The Padma Awards are one of the highest civilian honours of India announced annually on the day before Republic Day. The awards are given in three categories : Padma Vibhushan - for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan - for distinguished service of higher order; and the Padma Shri - distinguished service. The awards seeks to recognize achievements of people in all fields of activities or discipline where the element of public service is involved.
The awards are conferred by the President of India and the ceremony and functions are held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan annually. The announcement of the awards are done on Republic Day, while the ceremony is held later usually around March or April.
Among this year’s award recipients, the 119 people comprise of 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Award winners. 29 of the awardees are women, 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRIs/PIOs/OCIs, along with 16 Posthumous awardees and 1 transgender awardee.
Award winners of this year include Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and music legend SP Balasubramaniam among Padma Vibhushan winners. Balasubramaniam, who was among India’s most celebrated singers, passed away in September 2020 due to Covid-19 complications, and will be conferred the Padma posthumously. Among other Padma Vibhushan winners were artist Sudharshan Sahoo and archeologist BB Lal.
Ten personalities were honoured with the Padma Bhushan, including former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, prominent Shia preacher Maulana Kalbe Sadiq and renowned singer KS Chithra.
We are proud of all those who have been conferred the Padma Awards. India cherishes their contribution to the nation and humanity at large," Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter. "These exceptional individuals from different walks of life have brought qualitative changes in the lives of others," he said.