The list of the Padma awards is out! Among the huge list of 1,730 nominations the centre has shortlisted 150 recipients for the prestigious award.
Started in 1954, the Padma awards felicitate Indian who has outshined in different fields including arts, sports, social work and literature, among others.
The panel to select the Padma awardees comprises of State and Union governments, former awardees, politicians and Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI), among others. With several controversies surrounding the award and to make the nomination process transparent the government had opened the process for public scrutiny.
The awardees of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award are:
- Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli
- First female Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik
- Gymnast Dipa Karmarkar
- Discus thrower and Shot putter Vikas Gowda
- Hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh
- AIDS researcher DR Suniti Solomon
- Film critic Bhavna Somaiya
- Singer Anuradha Paudwal
The awardees of the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, are:
- Mohanveena maestro Vishwa Mohan Bhat
- Olympian Sakshi Malik, the first Indian woman to win a medal in Olympics in Wrestling.
- PV Sindhu, the first Indian woman to win silver medal at the Olympics and also the youngest recipient of the award.
- Former captain and skipper MS Dhoni. He has been awarded Padma Shri in 2009 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007.
- Chief National Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand
- Veteran singer Asha Parekh
- Playback singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan
- Singer Sonu Nigam
- Film actor and director Rishi Kapoor
- Playback singer Kailash Kher
- Film actor Manoj Bajpayee
- Dancer Lakshmi Vishwanathan
- Fork artist Basanti Bisht
- Craftsman Mohammed Yusef Khatri
- Kathakali dancer CK Nair
The awardees of the Padma Vibushan, second highest civilian award are:
- Maratha strongman and NCP leader Sharad Pawar
- 83-year-old BJP veteran and former Union Minister Murli Manohar Joshi. He is a member of BJP’s ‘Margdarshak Mandal’, an advisory panel of the ruling party comprising of senior leaders.
- Late Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
- Late former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma
- Late Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunder Lal Patwah
- Legendary singer KJ Yesudas
Apart from these well-known personalities, the centre this year will also felicitate a large number of ‘unsung heroes’, including 75-year old Sukri Bommagowda and 70-year-old Imrat Khan from Nepal. Bommagowda is the nightingale belonging to the Halakki Vokkaliga tribes of Uttara Kannada district. Khan is a social worker from Madhya Pradesh.
The award ceremony will be held on the 68th Republic Day. There’s also a buzz that the India’s highest civilian award the ‘Bharat Ratna’ will not be awarded in 2017.