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Journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma to receive Padma Bhushan

MUMBAI: Senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta and India TV chairman and editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma are among those to be honoured with the Padma Bhushan in the field of literature and education.

In a statement, Sharma dedicated the award to all his viewers. He said, “Actually I never thought about awards. My biggest award has been the love and affection I get from my viewers, their faith in me. And that’s why on being conferred this Padma Bhushan award, I feel very humbled; I think it is for my viewers. I dedicate this award to my viewers. It is their love, their affection, their trust which has brought me where I am. It actually belongs to them.”

Dasgupta has held senior editorial posts at The Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, The Times of India, The Indian Express and India Today. He is seen in all major political debates featured in the English electronic media and is well known for his appearance on NDTV’s weekly segment ‘Politically Incorrect’ with Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year, this year the highest civilian honour Padma Vibhshan will be bestowed on Bollywood veterans Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan in the field of arts.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda will also receive the Padma Bhushan for their social work.

Cricketer Mithali Raj, badminton player PV Sindhu, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and lyricist Prasoon Joshi are among the recipients of the Padma Shri.

Ravindra Jain, the composer behind ‘Chor Machaye Shor’, ‘Geet Gata Chal’ and ‘Chitchor’, and columnist Taarak Mehta, whose articles have inspired the popular comedy TV show ‘Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah’ on SAB, will be conferred the Padma Shri.

The Padma awards, one of the highest civilian awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards are given in various disciplines including arts, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service.

‘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.

This year the President of India has approved the Padma awards for 104 persons, of which nine have been conferred the Padma Vibhushan, 20 the Padma Bhushan and 75 the Padma Shri awards. 17 of the awardees are women and the list also includes 17 foreigners, NRIs, PIOs and four posthumous awardees.

The awards are conferred by the President at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in March/April every year.