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Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes Posthumously Awarded Padma Vibhushan

File photos of former Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.

File photos of former Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.

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.

New Delhi: Eminent personalities, including former Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and George Fernandes, Olympian boxer Mary Kom and former Mauritius prime minister Anerood Gugnauth have been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan on the Republic Day this year, the Union Home Ministry announced on Saturday.

Famous classical singer from Varanasi Channulal Mishra and Vishveshateertha Swamiji Sri Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi, who passed away recently, have also been given the highest Padma award — Padma Vibhushan.

Former defence minister Manohar Parrikar, industrialists Anand Mahindra and Venu Shrinivasan, Olympian badminton player PV Sindhu, former Nagaland chief minister SC Jamir and Jammu and Kashmir politician Muzaffar Hussain Baig have been awarded the Padma Bhushan.

The awards are announced on the eve of Republic Day.

Read: Full list of Padma awardees

Jaitley, Swaraj, Fernandes, Parrikar and Vishwesha Teertha Swami have been awarded posthumously, the officials said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Padma awardees, saying they include extraordinary people. "Congratulations to all those who have been conferred the Padma Awards," he said in a tweet.

This year President Ram Nath Kovind has approved conferment of 141 Padma awards, including four duo cases (in a duo case, the award is counted as one), the statement said.

"Thirty four of the awardees are women and the list also includes 18 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 12 posthumous awardees," it said.

Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

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.

Sixteen people have been given the Padma Bhushan and 118 the Padma Shri.

The Padma Vibhushan for this year has been awarded to a total of seven prominent personalities, while 16 have been given the Padma Bhushan and 118 the Padma Shri on the 71st Republic Day this year, they said.

Filmmakers Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor, and actor Kangana Ranaut have been awarded the Padma Shri.

Singers Suresh Wadkar and Adnan Sami, and veteran television actor Sarita Joshi have also been conferred with the fourth highest civilian award of the country.

(With inputs from agencies)