Prez confers Padma awards on 55 personalities

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New Delhi, May 6: The majestic Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan reverberated with prolonged applause as this year's Padma awardees, including masterblaster Sachin Tendulkar, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, legendary Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle and vocalist R Fahimuddin Dagar, received the coveted Padma Awards from President Pratibha Patil here on Monday evening.

While Tendulkar, Mr Mukherjee and Dr Asha Bhosle received the Padma Vibhushan, Ustad Dagar was honoured with Padma Bhushan. Two other personalities who were conferred Padma Vibhushan were Infosys mentor N R Narayana Murthy and hotel baron P R S Oberoi. At the Investiture Ceremony today, 55 prominent Indians were bestowed the Padma Awards.

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In all, 135 personalities, including seven foreigners, have been selected for the country's highest civilian award announced earlier this year. The remaining 80 personalities, will be conferred the awards later this month.

The honour roll this year, comprises 13 Padma Vibhushan winners, 35 Padma Bhushan and 71 Padma Shri awardees. The function was attended by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and other dignitaries.

UNI

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