Padma awards for Kakodkar, Bindra, Shekhar Gupta
Department of Atomic Energy chief Dr Anil Kakodkar, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair, Sister Nirmala of the Missionaries of Charity are among ten luminaries awarded the Padma Vibhushan this year, the country's second highest civilian honour after the Bharat Ratna. Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of 'The Indian Express', and Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra are among thirty honoured with the Padma Bhushan. Another 93 people have been awarded the Padma Shri.
Apart from Kakodkar, Madhavan Nair and Sister Nirmala, others honoured with the Padma Vibhushan are environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna, retired civil servant and diplomat Dr Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, Prof Jasbir Singh Bajaj and Dr Purshotam Lal from the field of medicine, littérateur and educationist Professor D P Chattopadhyaya, former Karnataka Governor Govind Narain and A S Ganguly (trade and industry).
This year's Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour, has been awarded to Shekhar Gupta for his contribution to journalism. Others to receive the award are Abhinav Bindra, historian Ramachandra Guha, Lt Gen (retd) Satish Nambiar (for national security affairs), National Knowledge Commission chairman Sam Pitroda (science and engineering), Shamshad Begum, G Sivarama Krishna Murthy alias Krishna, Prof Ramanlal C Mehta, V P Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan (duo), Vaidyanathan Ganapathi Sthapati (all from the field of art); S K Misra (civil service); Prof Alappat Sreedhara Menon, C K Prahlad, D Jayakanthan, Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Kunwar Narain and Prof Minoru Hara (literature and education); Dr Brijendra Kumar Rao, Vaidya Devendra Triguna and Dr Khalid Hameed (medicine); Dr Inderjit Kaur Barthakur, Dr Kirit Shantilal Parikh (public affairs), Dr Bhakta B Rath, Conjeevaram Srirangachari Seshadri, Dr Gurdip Singh Randhawa, Prof (Dr) Sarvagya Singh Katiyar and Prof Thomas Kailath (science and engineering), Dr Naganath Nayakawadi, Dr Sarojini Varadappan (social work); Anil Manibhai Naik (trade and industry).Film stars Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Akshay Kumar are among recipients of the Padma Shri awards. Others to be conferred the Padma Bhushan include veteran actress Helen Khan, music director Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, ghazal singer Penaz Masani, and playback singers Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu Bhattacharjee. Renowned broadcaster Ameen Sayani, too, has been awarded the Padma Shri. From the sports world, cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh and billiards player Pankaj Advani are to receive the Padma Shri.