NEW DELHI: Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar, who played a key role in finalising the India-U.S. civil nuclear cooperation agreement; Indian Space Research Organisation chief G. Madhavan Nair, involved in the first Chandrayaan mission; Sister Nirmala, Superior General of Mother Teresa’s Kolkata-based Missionaries of Charities; and noted environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna are among the 10 distinguished personalities honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award, on the 60th Republic Day.
In all, 133 personalities from various fields were named on Sunday, including 10 for Padma Vibhushan, 30 for Padma Bhushan and 93 for Padma Shri.
The first Olympic Gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, cricket captain M.S. Dhoni, Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan figure among the awardees.
The first chancellor of Sweden-based World Maritime University Chandrika Prasad Srivastava, noted historian D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Jasbir Singh Bajaj from Punjab and Purushotam Lal from U.P., both from the world of medicine, the former Governor and noted civil servant Govind Narain and industrialist A.S. Ganguly from Maharashtra were the other Padma Vibhushan awardees.
The country’s highest civilian award – Bharat Ratna – was already announced for noted 86-year-old vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in November last.
Among the 30 Padma Bhushan awardees are Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Sam Pitroda, G. Sivarama Krishna Murthy, the duo of V.P. Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan, Dr. Vaidyanathan Ganapathi Sthapati, Shekhar Gupta, S.K. Misra, C.K. Prahlad and Dr. Sarojini Varadappan.
The Padma Shri awardees include Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ameen Sayani, Harbhajan Singh and Arumugam Sakthivel.