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General Bipin Rawat, tech giants and vax makers get Padma awards

Chandrasekaran, Nadella, Pichai, Ella also figure in the civilian awards list

Bipin Rawat | Padma awards | Sundar Pichai

Aditi Phadnis  |  New Delhi 

Late General Bipin Rawat, former chief of defence staff, awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously. File Photo
Late General Bipin Rawat, former chief of defence staff, awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously. File Photo

People at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 – doctors, pharma industry leaders, and medical specialists – formed the largest chunk of those selected for India’s highest civilian awards on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day.

India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, who died last month in a chopper accident, has been honoured posthumously with the Padma Vibhushan — India’s second-highest civilian award.

Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, and his wife and co-founder Suchitra Ella were awarded the Padma Bhushan as was Serum Institute of India’s Cyrus Poonawalla. Over half-a-dozen doctors and those engaged in medical research also got the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

These included Dr Lata Desai, Dr Narendra Prasad Mishra (posthumous), VV Dongre, SV Adinarayana Rao, V Seshiah, Bhimsen Singhal, Balaji Tambe (posthumous), Kamlakar Tripathi, Himmatrao Bawaskar, and Prokar Dasgupta, who is now based in the UK.

graphTata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Alphabet CEO have been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

Interestingly, among those awarded civilian honours were Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad (Padma Bhushan), as well as former West Bengal chief minister and Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh was conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

Classical music legend Prabha Atre got the Padma Vibushan. Gurmeet Bawa and actor Victor Banerjee also got awards on a list where no Bollywood biggies figured, except musician Sonu Nigam. Well-known culinary expert who made “curry” a byword in the UK, Madhur Jaffrey, was honoured with a Padma Bhushan.

Prahlad Rai Agarwala, from Kolkata was awarded a Padma Shri for his contribution to trade and business. For the first time, two awards went to Ladakh, A Asghar Ali Basharat, for social work, and Tsering Namgyal, for art. Ajay Kumar Sonkar, an independent scientist, got the award for his pioneering work in making artificial pearls. Japanese businessman Ryuko Hira, who was born in Rajasthan, and is the owner of HMI Hotel Group, which runs a chain of hotels and resorts in Japan, also got a Padma award. Saibal Gupta, credited with original academic work on the evolution of the economy in Bihar, who also drafted many economic surveys presented by the government, got the award posthumously.

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First Published: Wed, January 26 2022. 00:33 IST