New Delhi, April 4 - Leading media personalities, film stars, industrialists, retired civil servants and educationists including the late cartoonist Mario Miranda, Bollywood veterans Dharmendra and Shabana Azmi, and former Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) Nagarajan Vittal were conferred the prestigious Padma awards here Wednesday.
The colourful ceremony was held at the Durbar Hall of Rastrapati Bhavan here, when Miranda's son Rahul received the Padma Vibhushan from President Pratibha Patil amidst thunderous applause from guests, including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and a host of other dignitaries.
But the loudest applause was reserved for Dharamendra and Shabana Azmi, both of whom received the Padma Bhushan, and for international archer Limba Ram Ahari and Olympic hockey gold medallist Zafar Iqbal.
Among the Padma Bhushan awardees were Vittal, literary theorist Homi K. Bhabha, violinist M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Tata Steel Vice Chairman B. Muthuraman, former bureaucrat Mata Prasad, mathematician M.S. Raghunathan, international jurist P. Chandrasekhara Rao, neurologist Noshir Hormusji Wadia and former Singapore Foreign Minister George Yong-Boon Yeo, who is presently a governing body member of the Nalanda University.
Among those not present at the ceremony, but whose awards would be sent to them, are eminent painter K.G. Subramanyan (Padma Vibushan), Satya Narayan Goenka and Jose Pereira (Padma Bhushan), and leading homeopathic consultant late Jugal Kishore.
Apart from Limba Ram and Zafar Iqbal, the Padma Shri was conferred on industrialist Swati Piramal, eminent diabetologist V. Mohan, and Ravi Chaturvedi, who popularlised cricket commentary in Hindi.
Along with the lone Padma Vibhshan, 13 Padma Bhushan and 53 Padma Shri awards were presented.