Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes awarded Padma Vibhushan
Former Union ministers and senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj will be posthumously awarded the country’s second-highest honour for civilians, the Padma Awards.
Both the late leaders will be conferred with the highest Padma award- the Padma Vibhushan, along with another departed political stalwart, JD(U)’s George Fernandes. The awards have been announced on the eve of the 71st Republic Day on Saturday.
The former prime minister of Mauritius, Sir Anerood Jugnauth, champion female boxer M. C. Mary Kom from Manipur, classical singer Pandit Shri Chhannulal Mishra from Uttar Pradesh and Sri Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (Posthumous) are the other recipients of Padma Vibhushan awards.
Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities, for example, art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc, said a government release.
‘Padma Vibhushan’, the highest Padma award, is given for exceptional and distinguished service, while ‘Padma Bhushan’ is given for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year and conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March or April every year.
This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards. 34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/Non Resident Indians/Persons of Indian Origin/Overseas Citizens of India and 12 Posthumous awardees.