Padma Awards 2020: Padma Vibhushan awarded posthumously to Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, George Fernandes and Vishwesh Tirtha Swamy

Prominent personalities, including former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, Olympian boxer Mary Kom, former Mauritius prime minister Anerood Jugnauth have been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on the Republic Day this year.

Vishwesh Tirtha Swamiji, head of Pejawar Math, has also been posthumously selected for Padma Vibhushan. Swamiji was considered to be the spiritual guru of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, industrialists Anand Mahindra and Venu Shrinivasan, Olympian badminton player P V Sindhu, former Nagaland chief minister SC Jamir and Jammu and Kashmir politician Muzaffar Hussain Baig have been conferred with the Padma Bhushan.

This year the President has approved conferment of 141 Padma Awards including 4 duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one). The list comprises 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards.

34 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 posthumous awardees.

Jaitley, Swaraj, Fernandes and Parrikar have been given the award posthumously, the officials said.

Cricketer Zaheer Khan, hockey player Rani Rampal, shooter Jitu Rai and cine personalities Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut are among 118 who have been awarded Padma Shri.

Singers Suresh Wadkar and Adnan Sami, as well as veteran TV actor Sarita Joshi have been conferred with the fourth highest civilian award of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Padma awardees, saying they include extraordinary people.

Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards–are conferred in three categories–Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

The award has also been given to Lucknow-based historian and journalist Yogesh Praveen and Assam-based historian Jogendra Nath Phukan have been awarded Padma Shri.

There are 21 ‘unsung’ heroes who were given Padma Shri this year including Jagdish Lal Ahuja, who serves free food to patients and attendants outside PGI hospital in Chandigarh; Mohammed Sharif from Faizabad, who has performed last rites of over 25,000 unclaimed bodies’ and veterinarian from Assam Kushal Konwar Sarma who is known for treating elephants.