Sir Edmund Hillary awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously

Padma Bhushan for Dominique Lapierre; Rajdeep Sardesai presented with Padma Shri

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and melody queen Asha Bhosle were among the recipients of the Padma Vibhushan from President Pratibha Patil on Monday for their outstanding contribution in their respective fields.

Infosys chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy and renowned hotelier P.R.S. Oberoi were also conferred with the award.

Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, was conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

Noted author Dominique Lapierre, teacher Shyama Chona and musician Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Khan Dagar received the Padma Bhushan while FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra, sportsperson Bula Chowdhury and journalists Vinod Dua and Rajdeep Sardesai were presented with the Padma Shri.

Mr. Mukherjee is the first ever serving Cabinet Minister to get a Padma award.

The best round of applause was reserved for Tendulkar as he went up to collect his award .

Ignoring the clamour for Bharat Ratna triggered by BJP leader L.K. Advani’s letter to the Prime Minister proposing Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s name, the government decided against naming anyone for the award for the seventh consecutive year this time. The Bharat Ratna was last given in 2001 to Lata Mangeshkar and Ustad Bismillah Khan.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other Cabinet Ministers were present.

Molecular biologist Asis Datta, former Ambassador Chandrashekhar Dasgupta, social activist Devendra Raj Mehta and renowned neurophysician Jagjit Singh Chopra were some of the other recipients of the Padma Bhushan.

Among the other awardees were Arjunan Rajasekaran, B. Sivanthi Adithan, Bhavarlal Hiralal Jain, Bina Agarwal, Deepak Sehgal, John Martin Nelson, Professor M. Leelavathy, Mangala Prasad Mohanty and Raman Kapur.

Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Surendra Singh Yadav, Srinivas Udgata, Randhir Sud, Yusuf Ali M.A., Simon Tony Fernandes and Pandit Pratap Pawar were among the other recipients. — PTI

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