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President presents Padma awards

New Delhi, April 26 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday presented the Padma awards to eminent personalities like author Ruskin Bond and actor Paresh Rawal at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

The president presented one Padma Vibhushan, 11 Padma Bhushans and 44 Padma Shri awards at a civil investiture ceremony, an official statement said.

Yoga exponent Bellur Krishnamachar Sundaraja Iyenger was conferred the Padma Vibhushan – the highest among the Padma awards, but the second highest civilian award.

The Padma Bhushan was conferred among others on tennis player Leander Paes, Indian Institute of Science director P.Balram, Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Bond.

Agriculture scientist Madappa Mahadevappa, Space Commission chairman Koppillil Radhakrishnan, founder director of National Institute of Malaria Research Vinod Prakash Sharma and artist, writer and educationist Gulammohammed Sheikh were also conferred the Padma Bhushan.

Eminent oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, best known for winning the Pulitzer prize for his book on cancer, received the Padma Shri.

Among those from the medical profession who received the Padma Shri was N.K. Pandey, chairman and managing director of Asian Institute of Medical Sciences.

“I’m deeply humbled by the honor conferred on me, but I also recognize the responsibility of living up to this honor by redoubling my efforts to further improve the healthcare sector in our country,” he said.

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