On the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, the central government announced the names of the Padma awardees on Tuesday. General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh have been posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian honour.
The awardees: Padma Bhushans have been awarded to senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, former West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, Olympic Gold Medallist Neeraj Chopra, Singer Sonu Nigam and SII MD Cyrus Poonawalla.
About the award: Padma Awards, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, are given in three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
- The awards are given in a variety of disciplines and fields of activity, including art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service, among others.
- Padma Vibhushan is given for exceptional and distinguished service, while Padma Bhushan is given for distinguished service of the highest order.
- Padma Shri is given for outstanding service in any field. Every year, the awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day and are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions held at Rashtrapati Bhawan, usually in March or April.