New Delhi: Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai, actor Rajinikanth, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and tennis player Sania Mirza are on the list of 112 Padma awardees whose names were announced on Monday by the government.
The awards will be given across three categories: the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Padma Vibhushan will also be given to dancer Yamini Krishnamurthy, media baron Ramoji Rao and former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan, who was also a minister in the AB Vajpayee government.
These awards are given on Republic Day, for the over six decades now, to people who the government recognises have excelled in their fields.
Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries is also on the list of Padma Vibhushan awardees, the country's second highest civilian award, posthumously. The Padma Vibhushan will be given to 10 people and the Padma Bhushan to 20.
The government announced the Padma Bhushan for actor Anupam Kher, singer Udit Narayan and former CAG Mr Rai. Mr Kher received the Padma Shri in 2004, Mr Narayan in 2009. Mr Rai was the auditor from 2008 to 2013 during the Congress-led UPA's regime. A report that he brought out on the 2G Spectrum allocation pointed out to huge losses to the exchequer running into lakhs of crores. The Supreme Court later struck down the allocation as "unconstitutional and arbitrary."
Among others in the list of those who will receive the Padma Bhushan are former US ambassador to India Robert D Blackwill, badminton star Saina Nehwal and tennis ace Sania Mirza, Indu Jain of Bennett, Coleman & Co and architect Hafiz Contractor.
Actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra will be awarded the Padma Shri along with lawyer Ujjwal Nikam.