President Ram Nath Kovind confers Padma awards on Prabha Atre, late Kalyan Singh
New Delhi: Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister late Kalyan Singh, often termed as a Hindutva icon, and actor Victor Banerjee were among the 55 distinguished personalities who were conferred with Padma awards by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday. This year, the first civil investiture ceremony was held on March 21 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan during which 54 personalities were given the Padma awards.
Amongst the prominent awardees at the second investiture ceremony were Padma Vibhushan recipients Kalyan Singh (posthumous), during whose tenure the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, and classical vocalist Prabha Atre.
Kalyan Singh's son Rajveer Singh, who is a Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh's Etah, received the honour. The Padma Bhushan recipients include actor Victor Banerjee, and Krishna Murthy Ella and Suchitra Krishna Ella of Bharat Biotech, the maker of coronavirus vaccine Covaxin, an official statement said. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai were among those who were named for the Padma Bhushan. However, they were absent at Monday's event. The Padma Shri awardees included the country's first individual Olympic gold medallist Neeraj Chopra.
The President also presented Padma Shri to Gaddam Padmaja Reddy, a renowned Kuchipudi dancer and Sakini Ramachandraiah, a folk singer and dhol player well-known for 'Kanchu melam-Kanchu thalam'. This year, no names were announced for the 'Bharat Ratna', India's highest civilian award, which was last awarded in 2019 to former President Pranab Mukherjee, social reformer Nanaji Deshmukh and noted singer Bhupen Hazarika.