More Padma Bhushan for biz leaders, only 10 doctors in list

Business personalities bagged five out of 17 Padma Bhushan titles given away this year, the most since 2011 and far higher than their average share in the category until last year (6.4%). Tech titans Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corp. and Sundar Pichai of Google were among the Padma Bhushan awardees in the 2022 list announced Tuesday. Domestic vaccine makers Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech and Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India also received the third-highest civilian award category. Natarajan Chandrasekaran of Tata Sons was also on the list in a year the group took over Air India. The award to Krishna and Suchitra Ella counts as one.

Four others from trade and industry received the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest honour. This takes the number of Padma awardees from the business world to nine, compared to five in 2021 and 11 in 2020.

While the medical fraternity has been praised by the top leadership in the government for its exemplary work during the pandemic, only 10 doctors featured on the Padma Shri list. They had no recognition in the higher categories. At 8%, this is lower than their average share in civilian awards until 2021 (12%).


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With 29 out of 107 awards, artists continued to dominate the Padma Shri list, closely followed by literature and education personalities (28 awards). Art, literature, and education have traditionally dominated the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards. More than 40% of the third and the fourth highest civilian awards have gone to these two fields.

However, it is the politicians of the country who have traditionally been conferred with the most number of Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan titles, the two highest categories. Twenty-seven out of 48 Bharat Ratna titles awarded so far have gone to political personalities, and roughly one-fourth of Padma Vibhushan titles have been in public affairs. Kalyan Singh, who was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh during the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, was posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan in a year that the state is due for elections.

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