25/01/2016 3:55 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Padma Awardees 2016 Announced By Indian Government

Sania Mirza of India celebrates winning a set with her partner Martina Hingis of Switzerland as they play Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France during their doubles match at the WTA tennis finals in Singapore, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Joseph Nair)

NEW DELHI -- The Indian government on Monday announced the 2016 Padma Awardees.

The awardees, revealed ahead of Republic Day, every year, are conferred in three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

Padma Vibhushan: actor Rajinikanth, classical singer Girija Devi, classical dancer Yamini Krishnamurthi, media baron Ramoji Rao, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, former governor of Jammu and Kashmir Jagmohan, V. Shanta, chairman of the Adyar Cancer Institute, and Vasudev Kalkunte Aatre, former head of the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries, who died in 2002, will receive a posthumous Padma Vibhushan.

Padma Bhushan: actor Anupam Kher, singer Udit Narayan, tennis champion Sania Mirza, badminton champion Saina Nehwal, former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, former United States Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill, sculptor Ram Sutar, Indu Jain, chairperson of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., and R.C. Bhargav, chairman of Maruti Suzuki.

Other Padma Bhushan awardees include Barjinder Singh Hamdard, managing editor of the Punjabi newspaper Daily Ajit, Swami Tejomayananda, head of Chinmaya Mission, Sanskrit scholar N.S. Ramanuja Tatacharya, D. Nageshwar Reddy, gastroenterologist at the Kurnool Medical College, and theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal.

Padma Shri: public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, actor Ajay Devgan and actor Priyanaka Chopra.

Reactions came in fast and furious after the names of the awardees were announced on Monday afternoon.

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