New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday conferred Padma Awards to Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Oscar winning music director A. R. Rehman and veteran theatre artiste Zohra Sehgal.
President Patil also awarded India’s badminton sensation Saina Nehwal, Bollywood actors Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Rekha and other eminent personalities for their exceptional and distinguished contribution in various fields.
The awards were given in three categories – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri – for contribution in 13 disciplines/ fields of activities like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.
The awards were announced to 130 recipients, which included six Padma Vibhushan, 43 Padma Bhushan, 81 Padma Shri, including 13 Foreigners/ NRIs/ PIOs, on the occasion of Republic Day (January 26,2010).
There are 17 women among the awardees.
The Padma Vibhushan went to six eminent personalities, including Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan, renowned theatre director Ebrahim Alkazi, veteran theatre artiste Zohra Sehgal, former Reserve Bank of India Governor Yaga Venugopal Reddy, veteran Mridangam exponent Umayalpuram K Sivaraman and Apollo Hospital founder Prathap Chandra Reddy.
Actor Aamir Khan, Music Director A. R. Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja, danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, artist Akbar Padamsee and Dr. Ramakant Panda were among the 43 Padma Bhushan awardees.
Among the 81 Padma Shri awardees were film actors Rekha and Saif Ali Khan, Olympic medallist Vijender Singh, eminent cardiologist K K Agarwal, cricketer Virender Sehwag, ace badminton player Saina Nehwal and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar”s mentor Ramakant Achrekar.