Premji, Kasaravalli and Kris bag Padma awards

10 personalities from State get civilian honours

Premji, Kasaravalli and Kris bag Padma awards

Karnataka’s pie of the Padma awards, announced on Tuesday, was commendable with eminent personalities from the State bagging 10 awards, including the country’s second-highest civilian honour—the Padma Vibhushan—going to industry titan Azim Premji.

The Padma Bhushan awardees from the State included vocalist Rudrapatna Krishna Shastry (R K) Srikantan, Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan and senior journalist T J S George. Filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli was chosen for the Padma Shri.

A total 128 awards was announced, comprising 13 Padma Vibhushan, 31 Padma Bhushan and 84 Padma Shri. The awardee list has 31 women. The government is yet to decide on who would get the ‘Bharat Ratna’—the highest civilian award—though media reports say cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is in the race.

The last time a Bharat Ratna was given was in 2008 when Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, who passed away on Monday, was honoured. Other than Kasaravalli, stalwarts from the State who have been chosen for Padma Shri were Dalit writer Devanooru Mahadeva, chancellor of Manipal University Ramdas Pai, practitioner of Indian system of medicine Anant Darshan Shankar, former director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota M Annamalai, and social workers Nomita Chandy and Anita Reddy.

With Premji, deputy chairman of Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former petroleum secretary Vijay Kelkar and former national security advisor Brajesh Mishra have been handpicked for the Padma Vibhushan.

There is a dash of  Bollywood in the Padma award this year with yesteryear stars Shashi Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman being chosen for the Padma Bhushan. The Padma Shri awardees from the Hindi film industry include actresses Kajol and Tabu, and actor Irrfan Khan. Pop singer Usha Uthup is also in the list.

Sportspersons, who have been given the Padma Shri, include wrestler Sushil Kumar from Delhi, cricketer Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman and marksman Gagan Narang from Andhra Pradesh, weightlifter Kunjarani Devi from Manipur and mountaineer Harbhajan Singh from Punjab.

The awards will be given away by President Pratibha Patil at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan in March or April.

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