President Pratibha Patil today conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, on former police officer and governor T V Rajeshwar and well-known orthopaedician Kantilal Hastimal Sancheti at an investiture ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
The late singer-composer Bhupen Hazari was also conferred the Padma Vibhushan, which was received by his son Taz Hazarika.
In all, 53 persons were conferred with the Padma Awards at today's function - the first of two investiture ceremonies.
They included former Indian ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen, noted painter Jatin Das, Dhrupad exponents Gundecha brothers, hotelier Priya Paul and film maker Mira Nair.
In all, President Pratibha Patil has approved 109 Padma Awards for 2012. Twenty-seven people have been chosen for the Padma Bhushan and 77 for the Padma Shri. The awardees include 19 women.
The President had approved 109 Padma Awards for 2012 on the eve of Republic Day this year.Apart from five Padma Vibhushans, 27 people were chosen for the Padma Bhushan and 77 for the Padma Shri. The remaining 56 awardees will receive the honour at a second ceremony later.
The awards are given in all disciplines/ fields of activities, such as art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, and so on.
Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year.
Others who received the Padma Bhushan today included sarod exponent Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta, classical vocalist T V Gopalkrishnan, sculptor Anish Kapoor, astrophysicist Shashikumar Chitre, oncologist Suresh Advani, cardiologist Devi Shetty and educationist Shantaram Mujumdar.
The list also included economist Arvind Panagariya, art historian Vidya Dehejia and industrialist M V Subbiah.
Music composer Vanraj Bhatia, noted exponent of Manipuri historical ballads Nameirakpam Ibemni Devi, playwrights Moti Lal Kemmu and Satish Alekar, theater personalities Joy Michael and Natesan Muthuswamy and classical dance exponent Kalamandalam Sivan Nambootiri were among those who received the Padma Shri.
Singer Anup Jalota, well-known Malayalam and Hindi film-maker Priyadarsan and agriculture scientist K L Chadha were also conferred the Padma Shri today as were inustrialist Arun Firodia, biotechnologist Rameshwar Nath Koul Bamezai, cricketer Jhulan Goswami and badminton coach Syed Mohammed Arif.
Rajeswar, 85, is a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who served as the Intelligence Bureau chief and later as the Lt Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and then as the Governor of Sikkim, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.
Sancheti is the inventor of India's fist indigenous knee implant, the Indus Knee, and founder of Maharashtra’s first dedicated orthopaedic speciality hospital in Pune. He started a Joint Replacement Centre there in 2008. He has organised over 500 health camps for handicapped children all over India and mentored and trained more than 300 ortho-surgeons. He is also an acclaimed design consultant, with over 120 hospitals benefitting from his expertise.
Hazarika, a doyen of the film industry and regarded as one of the country's greatest ballad singers, died on November 5 last year in Mumbai at the age of 85. He had sung in many Indian languages, including Bengali, Assamese and Hindi. He was the recipient of the Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Hazarika was also an acknowledged poet, actor, journalist, author and film-maker and a pioneer of the film industry in Assam. As a singer, he had a huge fan following, with his deep baritone voice and crisp diction. The lyrics he wrote touched on social and political themes. His compositions made use of folk music as well as contemporary elements.