New Delhi: Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Oscar winner A R Rahman and Bollywood actor Aamir Khan were among those conferred with the prestigious Padma awards here on Wednesday by President Pratibha Patil.
In a grand ceremony, the Padma Vibhushan - the second highest civilian award - was bestowed upon Indian-origin American Ramakrishnan, eminent theatre personality Ebrahim Alkazi and founder chairman of Apollo Hospitals Pratap C Reddy.
Thirty-seven of the 130 Padma awardees are from the field of arts. Among the recipients were Alkazi and Zohra Segal, who also got the Padma Vibhushan.
The majestic Ashoka Hall at Rashtrapati Bhavan resonated with thunderous applause when music maestro and double Oscar winner Rahman and actor Aamir Khan received their Padma Bhushan.
Padma Bhushan was also accorded to eminent cardiac surgeon Ramakant Panda, who performed a "beating heart" surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.
About 66 Padma awards were given Wednesday.
Dashing Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag, Olympic bronze-medal winning boxer Vijender Singh and world ranked badminton star Saina Nehwal were among the six sportspersons who received the Padma Shri.
New York-based hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, who was accorded the Padma Bhushan, was not present at the ceremony.
His selection had generated a lot of controversy with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanding that the award be taken back due to his controversial financial dealings.