Actress and former chairperson of Censor Board Sharmila Tagore was picked for the Padma Bhushan award given to personalities for distinguished service of high order.
According to sources, she was nominated by National School of Drama. Dr Ramanaidu Dugabati, former TDP MP and film producer, was nominated for Padma Vibhushan, while Delhi-based photographer Dayanita Singh was shortlisted for Padma Shri. Eminent Indian painter Jogen Chowdhury, who lives and works in West Bengal, may receive the Padma Shri.
“Vandana Luthra — founder of VLCC, the country’s leading slimming, beauty and fitness brand — and fashion designer Ritu Kumar were chosen for Padma Shri, an award for distinguished services. Sources said Vandana Luthra was nominated by Congress leader Ambika Soni. Abhilasha Singhvi, managing trustee of Manav Seva Sannidhi, a humanitarian organisation set up to help the disabled, was recommended for the Padma Shri. She is the daughter of late L M Singhvi and the sister of Congress Rajya Sabha MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Abhilasha is a qualified lawyer engaged in social service and has supported over 50,000 destitute people through her NGO. Professor Yash Pal, a well-known scientist and educator, was nominated for Padma Vibhushan; he is already a receipent of Padma Bhushan in 1976. According to sources, among distinguished businessmen, Dhruv M Sawhney, chairman and managing director of Triveni Engineers, was short listed for the Padma Bhushan. From the list if PSUs, chairman and managing director of IFFCO, Dr. US Awasthi, was picked for Padma Bhushan. Sawhney, a former president of the CII, was also the governor of Indian institute of Management Lucknow. From the sports arena, Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar was picked for Padma Bhushan while the the name of the world’s oldest marathon runner, Sardar Fauza Singh, was shortlisted for Padma Shri. In medical profession Dr. Ashok Seth, well known cardiologist, was shortlisted for Padma Bhushan.
Perhaps because of the constant media fire the government has been facing since the 2G scam, no journalist has been selected for any of the awards. Sources said the main highlight of this year’s nomination is that no one from politics, journalism and bureaucracy could make it to the list. “Most of the names shortlisted represent art culture, cinema and social sector only,” government sources pointed out.
The Padma award committee-2013 comprised the Principal Secretary to PM Pulok Chatterjee, Cabinet Secretary Ajit K Seth, Union Home Secretary R K Singh, nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar and actor Ratna Pathak Shah. The awards are announced on January 26 every year and are presented by the President at an awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.