15 from Maharashtra get Padma honours

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS) Fifteen eminent personalities from Maharashtra were named for this year’s prestigious Padma awards by the central government on Monday.

They include one Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, posthumously conferred on industrialist and Reliance Industries group founder, late Dhirubhai Ambani.

The third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan was conferred to five people, renowned architect Hafeez Contractor, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, playback singer Udit Narayan Jha, academician N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya and spiritualist Swami Tejomayananda.

Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award was conferred on legal luminary Ujjwal Nikam, noted for successfully guiding the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings case, the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case and other major criminal cases, and industrialists Dilip Sanghvi and Keki Hormusji Gharda.

Scientist Ganapati Dadasaheb Yadav, farmer Subash Palekar, advertising doyen Piyush Pandey, Bollywood director Madhur Bhandarkar and popular actors Ajay Devgn and Priyanka Chopra were the other Padma Shri awardees.

The awards shall be conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremonial function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan later this year.

This year, the president approved Padma awards to 112 people — 10 Padma Vibhushan, 19 Padma Bhushan and 83 Padma Shri.

Of these, 19 awardees are women and 10 people are from the category of foreigners, NRIs, PIOs (include one posthumous) and four posthumous awardees.

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