Former Japan PM Shinzo Abe among among 119 recipients of the highest civilian award of India

Osaka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting in Osaka, Japan, Thursday, June 27, 2019. (PIB/PTI Photo) (PTI6_27_2019_000024B)

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is among 119 recipients whom the government on Monday selected for Padma awards–one of the highest civilian awards in the country.

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday announced the awards that include seven Padma Vibhushan awards, 10 Padma Bhushan awards and 102 Padma Shri awards.

The Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award, has been conferred on Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the public affairs category. Tamil Nadu’s veteran musician and playback singer S.P. Balasubramaniam also got the honour, albeit posthumously.

Indian-American physicist Narinder Singh Kapany, best known for his work on fibre optics, has also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

Besides them, Karnataka’s famous cardiologist Belle Monappa Hegde; Indian Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, who is known for having written a commentary on the Quran; Indian archaeologist and Hindutva historical revisionist B. B. Lal; and sculptor Sudarshan Sahoo is among other Padma Vibhushan recipients.

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, politician and former Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, former Chief Minister of Gujarat Keshubhai Patel and Indian Islamic scholar Kalbe Sadiq are among the 10 Padma Bhushan awardees who were honoured with the third-highest civilian award posthumously.

The awards are given across various disciplines — art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, and civil service, among others.

This time, 29 of the awardees are women and the list includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI, 16 posthumous awardees and one transgender award winner.

The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service, the Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order, and the Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

The awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March or April every year.

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