President Kovind conferred 4 Padma Vibhushan, 8 Padma Bhushan and 61 Padma Shri awards

Former Union Ministers, sports champions and eminent persons from the fields of arts, culture, literature, science and social work were among 71 honoured with the Padma Awards for 2020 by President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday.

These honours had been announced on the eve of Republic Day last year.

President Kovind conferred four Padma Vibhushan, eight Padma Bhushan and 61 Padma Shri awards at a civil investiture ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Defence Minister Goerge Fernandes have been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award.

Swaraj, Jaitley and Fernandes were all conferred with the Padma Vibhushan award posthumously. They were honoured in the category of Public Affairs.

The fourth Padma Vibhushan awardee is Hindustani classical and semi-classical vocalist Pandit Channulal Mishra.

President Kovind also conferred eight Padma Bhushan awards.

The awardees included ace badminton player PV Sindhu, Nagaland political leader and former Governor SC Jamir, and late Bangladesh diplomat Syed Muezzim Ali.

The other Padma Bhushan awardees included Mumtaz Ali, Anil Prakash Joshi, Neelakanta Ramakrishna Madhava Menon (posthumous), Balkrishna Doshi, and Jagdish N Sheth.

The Padma Shri award was conferred on 61 emiment personalities.

Bollywood personalities Kangana Ranaut amd Adnan Sami Khan were among those who were honoured with the Padma Shri. Indian women's hockey team captain Rani also received the Padma Shri.

The Padma Awards are among the nation's highest civilian honours which are awarded in three categories.

Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service, Padma Bhushan for distinguished service of high order, and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field.

Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.