Cricketer Virat Kohli, veteran politicians Murli Manohar Joshi and Sharad Pawar and Paralympics medallist Deepa Malik were among the 39 people who were conferred the Padma awards on Thursday. The total number of Padma award winners this year is 89 and the rest of them will be felicitated during a ceremony on April 13, PTI reported.
The event was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Bharatiya Janata Party veteran LK Advani among others attending. Most of the winners – 33 of them – received the Padma Shri, two people received the Padma Bhushan and four were given the Padma Vibhushan award.
Along with Pawar and Joshi, scientist Udipi Ramachandra Rao and former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma posthumously received the Padma Vibhushan. Dr Tehemton Erach Udwadia and Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn were given the Padma Bhushan.
Padma Shri winners included singer Anuradha Paudwal, hockey player PR Sreejesh, late Dr Suhaschandra Vithal Mapuskar and AIDS researcher late Dr Suniti Solomon.
Others honoured with the prestigious civilian award were paralympic gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, maestro Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, yogi Niranjana Nanda Saraswati, political analyst-cum-journalist late Cho Ramaswamy and Nepal-based social worker Anuradha Koirala, among others.