New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday presented Padma awards to 56 distinguished personalities including actor Paresh Rawal, ace tennis player Leander Paes and author Ruskin Bond.
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh, eminent writer Anita Desai and noted painter Sunil Das could not make it to the ceremony.
Speaking after the ceremony, actor Paresh Rawal, who is contesting on BJP ticket from Ahmedabad-East Lok Sabha seat, said he was feeling honoured at being conferred Padma Shri.
The President presented one Padma Vibhushan, eleven Padma Bhushan and forty-four Padma Shri awards today at the ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, President`s Secretariat said.
Renowned yoga guru Bellur Krishnamachar Sundaraja Iyenger, who took the ancient Indian exercises to modern world making them a global phenomenon, was conferred the Padma Vibhushan which is the highest honour in the Padma awards.
Tennis Player Leander Paes, Director of Indian Institute of Science and renowned scientist P Balram, Justice Dalveer Bhandari, noted writer Ruskin Bond, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Thirumalachari Ramasami were conferred Padma Bhushan.
Management Guru Mrityunjay B Athreya, agriculture scientist Madappa Mahadevappa, Chairman Space Commission and Secretary in Department of Space Koppillil Radhakrishnan, distinguished Professor at IIT-Delhi and founder Director of National Institute of Malaria Research Vinod Prakash Sharma and artist, writer and educationist Gulammohammed Sheikh were also conferred Padma Bhushan.
Academician and founder of Gujarati Vishwakosh, Dhirubhai Premshanker Thaker was awarded Padma Bhushan posthumously.
Name of Late Chief Justice of India J S Verma, whose family had refused to accept Padma Bhushan, was missing from the list of awardees conferred with the civil honours today.