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Padma Vibhushan for J.N. Dixit, R.K. Laxman

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JAN. 25. Gladys Staines, widow of the slain Australian missionary, Graham Staines, the former National Security Adviser, J.N. Dixit (posthumous), Wipro chairman Azim Premji, cartoonist R.K. Laxman, Bollywood hero Shahrukh Khan, cricketer Anil Kumble and Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore are among the winners of the Padma Awards announced today.

The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, approved the names of 96 persons for the prestigious awards — nine for Padma Vibhushan, 30 for Padma Bhushan and 57 for Padma Shri. Prominent among the Padma Vibhushan recipients are J.N. Dixit for civil service, the Attorney-General, Milon Kumar Banerjee, for public affairs and Mr. Laxman for art.

While Mr. Premji has been given the Padma Bhushan for trade and industry, Ms. Staines has been conferred the Padma Shri for social work. She is one of the two foreigners awarded the Padma Awards this year; the other being Indophile Mark Tully, who has been conferred the Padma Bhushan for journalism. Mr. Shahrukh Khan has been chosen for the Padma Shri for art while Mr. Kumble and Major Rathore have made it to the same league for sports.

The other six Padma Vibhushan awardees are Bal Krishan Goyal and Martanda Varma Sankaran Valiathan for medicine, Bhai Mohan Singh for trade and industry, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Karan Singh, for public affairs, socialist Mohan Dharia for social work and Ram Narayan for art.

The Padma Bhushan recipients include sociologist Andre Beteille for literature and education; Chandi Prasad Bhatt of the Chipko Movement for social work; historians Irfan Habib and Romila Thapar for literature and education; woman entrepreneur Kiran Majumdar Shaw for science and engineering; the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Syed Mir Qasim, for public affairs; and film-maker Yash Chopra and playback singer Manna Dey for art.

Also among the Padma Bhushan awardees are Balraj Puri for literature and education, the former Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Girish Chandra Saxena, for civil service, Malayalam author M.T. Vasudevan Nair for art, and Urdu writer Qurratulain Hyder for literature and education.

The Padma Shri awardees include the director of the Centre for Science and Environment, Sunita Narain, for environment protection; economist Amiya Kumar Bagchi for literature and education; lawyer Indira Jaisingh for public affairs; playback singer Kavita Subramaniam Krishnamurti and dancer Komala Varadan for art; the Editor of Malayala Manorama, Mammen Mathew, and newspaper baron Shobhana Bhartia for journalism; film-maker Muzaffar Ali for art; and badminton player P. Gopichand for sports.

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