Rajat Sharma, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of India TV, and columnist Swapan Dasgupta have been selected for the Padma Bhushan for their contribution in the field of Literature and Education. Prasoon Joshi, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of McCann Worldgroup India, will be awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution in the field of Art.
Apart being one of the best-known ad professionals in India, Joshi is also a writer, poet, lyricist and screenwriter. He has won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award thrice and the National Award for Best Lyrics twice for his work in ‘Taare Zameen Par’ (2007) and ‘Chittagong’ (2013).
Joshi had also written the lyrics for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in 2014.
Rajat Sharma has dedicated his award to the viewers.
Economist Bibek Debroy -- now a member of the Niti Ayog, IT honcho Mohandas Pai, badminton player PV Sindhu, woman cricketer Mithali Raj, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Arunima Sinha, the first woman amputee to climb the Mount Everest, are the other prominent names on the Padma Shri list.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami, constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap and Carnatic vocalist Sudha Raghunathan will be awarded the Padma Bhushan. Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, and Fields Medal winner Manjul Bhargava have also been named for the Padma Bhushan.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and actors Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar are among the nine Padma Vibhushan awardees. Senior advocate KK Venugopal, nuclear scientist MR Srinivasan, philanthropist Veerendra Heggade, Sanskrit scholar Rambhadracharya and Karim Al Hussiani Aga Khan are the other awardees of the Padma Vibhushan.
The Padma awards, one of the highest civilian awards in India, are conferred in three categories -- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards are conferred by the President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan around March or April every year.
This year, 104 people have been chosen for the Padma awards. The list comprises nine Padma Vibhushan, 20 Padma Bhushan and 75 Padma Shri awardees. Seventeen awardees are women. The list also includes 17 people from the category of foreigners, NRIs and PIOs, and four posthumous awardees.