George Fernandes, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan

Former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, George Fernandes will be awarded the Padma Vibhushan on the 71st Republic Day on Sunday.

Among the other Padma Vibhushan awardees are Olympian boxer MC Mary Kom, former Mauritius prime minister Anerood Jugnauth and Indian classical singer Chhannulal Mishra.

Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, industrialist Anand Mahindra, Olympian badminton player PV Sindhu and Jammu and Kashmir politician Muzaffar Hussain Baig have been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

The awards were announced on the eve of Republic Day.

This year’s Padma Awards list includes 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards (fourth highest civilian honour), the statement said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Padma awardees.

“Congratulations to all those who have been conferred the Padma Awards. The awardees include extraordinary individuals who have made exceptional contributions to our society, nation and humanity,” PM Modi tweeted.

This year President Ram Nath Kovind has approved conferment of 141 Padma awards, including four duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one), the statement said.

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/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc, it said.

‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ 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, it added.