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B M Hegde, Wahiduddin Khan, B B Lal and Shinzo Abe among seven chosen for Padma Vibhushan
Late singer S P Balasubramaniam also gets Padma Vibhushan, singer K S Chitra chosen for Padma Bhushan
New Delhi, January 25, 2021
Well-known cardiologist B M Hegde, Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, archaeologist B B Lal, renowned sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were among the seven people chosen for the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, today on the eve of Republic Day.
Late playback singer S P Balasubramaniam and late Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany were also chosen for the award posthumously.
The Padma Awards -- the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri -- are announced every year on the eve of Republic day and are given to people for their contribution and achievements in various fields such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil services, and so on.
This year's list includes 7 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards.
As many as 29 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI. There are 16 posthumous awardees and one transgender awardee.
Well-known playback singer K S Chitra, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, retired bureaucrat Nripendra Misra, who had served as Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, businessman Rajnikant Shroff, the chairman and managing director of United Phosphorous Limited, bureaucrat-turned-politician Tarlochan Singh and Kannada poet, playwright and filmmaker Chandrashekhar Kambara were among those chosen for the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour.
Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, late Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and late Islamic scholar Kalbe Sadiq were chosen for the Padma Bhushan posthumously.
Hegde, 82, is a former Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University and Co-Chairman of the TAG-VHS Diabetes Research Centre, Chennai. He was honoured with the prestigious Dr B C Roy Award in 1999. In 2010, he was honoured by the Government with the Padma Bhushan.
Wahiduddin Khan, 96, is known for his commentary on the Quran and having translated it into contemporary English. He was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2000 and the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in 2009.
Lal had served as the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1968 to 1972. He had also served as Director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Lal also served on various UNESCO committees. He received the Padma Bhushan Award by the President of India in 2000.
Shinzo Abe served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Japan and has contributed immensely to strengthening bilateral relations with India.
Sahoo, 81, has developed the Sudarshan Crafts Museum in Puri in 1977 and the Sudarshan Art & Crafts Village in Bhubaneswar in 1991, both in Odisha.
Balasubramaniam, popularly known as SPB or Balu in the movie world, had recorded more than 40,000 songs in 16 languages, including Tamil and the other South Indian languages as well as in Hindi, in his five-decade-long career in the film industry. He lost his battle against COVID-19 on September 25 last year.
Kapany, who is best known for his work on fibre optics, passed away on December 4, 2020 in California in the United States of America. He was honoured by the Government with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, given to eminent overseas Indians, in 2004.
The Padma Shri awardees include well-known businesswoman Rajni Bector, basketball player P Anitha, table tennis player Mouma Das, British theatre and film director Peter Brook, Malayalam lyricist and music director Damodaran Kaithapram, Gujarati singer Mahesh Kanodia and his brother and actor Naresh Kanodia (posthumous), Gujarati writer Chandrakant Mehta, Carnatic singer Bombay Jayashri Ramnath, wrestler Virender Singh, former Goa Governor Mridula Sinha (posthumous) and businessman Sridhar Vembu, the founder of Zoho Corporation, were among the Padma Shri awardees.