President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday conferred the prestigious Padma awards, one of the highest civilian honours at a special function in Rashtrapati Bhawan. On January 26, the government had announced a total of 112 names for the prestigious awards. The first set of awardees included 56 names who were invited at the Rashtrapati Bhavan today and the second ceremony for another 56 awardees will take place on March 16. Among those who received the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri are late actor Kader Khan, Akali Dal leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and renowned journalist late Kuldip Nayar. Khan (posthumous) was honoured with Padma Shri, Dhindsa and Nayar (posthumous) was honoured with Padma Bhushan. A record 50,000 nominations were received for the 2019 awards, which is 20 times those received in 2014, when there were just 2,200 nominations.
Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind confers Padma Bhushan award (posthumous) upon veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar. His wife Bharti Nayar received the award. pic.twitter.com/NPuToZeXXkâ€” ANI (@ANI) March 11, 2019
Noted theatre personality from Maharashtra Babasaheb Purandare alias Balwant Moreshwar Purandare (Padma Vibhushan), Bihar leader Hukumdev Narayan Yadav (Padma Bhushan), former CEO of multinational techno giant Cisco Systems John Chambers, renowned dancer and filmmaker Prabhu Deva (Padma Shri) were also honoured.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries are expected to attend the function.
This year's awardees are from across the nation, all segments of society and the government has gone beyond excellence alone, recognising larger impact and their selfless service, an official had said. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also have an interactive session with the Padma awardees and their families.
The nomination process for Padma awards was made online in 2016 and a simple, accessible and secure online platform was put in place to encourage citizens at large to participate.