Eminent personalities, including former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, have been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on the Republic Day this year, officials said on Saturday.
Olympian boxer Mary Kom and former Mauritius prime minister Anerood Gugnauth have also been awarded the Padma Vibhushan.
Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Industrialists Anand Mahindra and Venu Shrinivasan, Olympian badminton player P V Sindhu, former Nagaland chief minister S C Jamir and Jammu and Kashmir politician Muzaffar Hussain Baig have been awarded with the Padma Bhushan, they said.
Jaitley, Swaraj, Fernandes and Parrikar have been given the award posthumously, the officials said.
The Padma Vibhushan for this year has been awarded to a total of seven prominent personalities, while 16 have been given the Padma Bhushan, 118 have been given the Padma Shri on the 71st Republic Day this year, they said.
The family members of Jaitley and Swaraj on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi .
"Today is a very proud moment for my family & I. Thank you, Shri Narendra Modi for bestowing this honour on my father. Those who were close to him certainly know - for Arun Jaitley, the nation ALWAYS came first!" Jaitley's daughter Sonali Jaitley Bakhshi said on Twitter.
"Thank You Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bestowing the award on my father," said his son Rohan Jaitley.
Swaraj's husband and former Mizoram Governor Swaraj Kaushal tweeted, "Thank you Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji and our Home Minister Shri Amit Shahji for conferring Padma Vibhushan award on Sushma Swaraj in recognition of her services to the nation. We feel honoured and humbled."
"Congratulations to all those who have been conferred the Padma Awards," PM Modi tweeted.
The prime minister said the awardees include "extraordinary individuals who have made exceptional contributions to our society, nation and humanity."
(With PTI inputs)
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine