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President presents Padma awards
April 06, 2013
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NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee presented 54 Padma awards at a function in the Darbar hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Friday.

Veteran Bollywood actors Sharmila Tagore and Sridevi and cricketer Rahul Dravid were among those who were conferred the awards.

Dravid and Sharmila Tagore received the Padma Bhushan. Sreedevi got a Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian award.

The Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second-highest civilian award, was conferred on scientist Yashpal and sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra.

Defence Research and Development Organisation chief VK Saraswat was conferred the Padma Bhushan.

Others who got the award included Hemandra Singh Panwar (civil service), SG Patil (public affairs) and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (literature and education).

Others who won the award included Trichur Viswanathan Devarajan (medicine) and B. Jayashree (art).

Nobody was named for the Bharat Ratna this year too.

The last awardee was the late Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.

Apart from two Padma Vibhushan awards, the president presented 10 Padma Bhushan awards and 42 Padma Shree.

This year’s list of honours was announced on Jan. 25 and another ceremony was expected later for presentation of the awards to the remaining award winners.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Railway Minister Pawan Bansal were amonst those who attended the ceremony.

Pranab will felicitate a naval officer in Mumbai on Saturday for his feat in completing a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the globe under sails in 150 days.

Tomy, 34 will be the cynosure of all eyes during the visit of Mukherjee for the concluding ceremony of accomplishment of Sagar Parikrama-II-solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation.

The Indian Navy had launched the project Sagar Parikrama II on Aug. 19, 2009 in an indigenously built yacht and the first such circumnavigation was accomplished by Commander Dilip Donde on May 22, 2010 with Tomy being his stand-by officer who assisted him at all the ports touched during his seven-month voyage. However, Tomy completed the second expedition alone on March 31 thereby making him the first Indian to accomplish this feat and joins the ranks of 80 others worldwide to complete this task.

When Tomy, a maritime reconnaissance pilot, crossed the 10,000 nautical mile mark non-stop on Jan. 9, 2013, he became the first Indian to do so.


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