Mumbai– With a total of the coveted 10 Padma awards to 11 nominees, including one posthumously, Maharashtra has bagged the lion’s share of the country’s highest civilian awards in 2018.
The awards were announced late on Thursday on the eve of India’s 69th Republic Day.
The sole Padma Vibhushan awardee — the second highest civilian award — from the state is eminent classical singer Ghulam Mustafa Khan (Mumbai), while sitar maestro Arvind Parikh (Mumbai) has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan — the third highest civilian award, both in the Arts/Music category.
The country’s fourth highest award — the Padma Shri — has gone to the legendary medico couple (Dr.) Abhay Bang and (Dr.) Rani A. Bang, (Gadchiroli) both in the category of medicine.
Globally renowned Arvind Gupta (Pune) has been honoured for his contribution to academics and literature, actor Manoj Joshi (Mumbai) for Arts/Acting, and industrialist Rameshwarlal Kabra (Mumbai) for Trade/Industry.
Actor Sisir Purushottam Mishra (Mumbai) bags a Padma Shri for Arts/Cinema, paraplegic swimmer Murlikant Petkar (Pune) for Sports/Swimming and Dalit writer Panatawane Gangadhar (Pune) for Literature.
A self-taught medical and social worker Sampat Ramteke (Nagpur) who passed away in 2017 has been conferred the Padma Shri posthumously.
The Padma Awards are given in various disciplines, fields like arts, social work, public afairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil services, etc.
The Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished services, the Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order and the Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.
The Bharat Ratna is the country’s highest civilian award, is conferred only occasionally.
This year, of a total 85 selected for various awards, three have bagged the Padma Vibhushan, nine the Padma Bhushan and 73 Padma Shri, including 14 women, 16 foreigners and three posthumously.
The awards are conferred by the President at a ceremonial function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, usually around March-April.