President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Padma Vibhushan to eminent scientist R A Mashelkar while actors Vidya Balan, Kamal Haasan and ace shuttler P Gopichand were among those presented with the Padmas.
The award ceremony was attended, among others, by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, Union ministers Sushuilkumar Shinde, P Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar and Sriprakash Jaiswal, and Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath.
Mashelkar (71) is well known globally for his path breaking research in polymer science and engineering. He has chaired 12 high powered national level committees to look into diverse issues of higher education, national auto fuel policy and measures to deal with the menace of spurious drugs.
Anumolu Ramakrishna, who pioneered the use of precast concrete technology, was conferred the Padma Bhushan posthumously. He passed away last year at the age of 73. Jawahar Lal Kaul (69), known for his voluntary services for the blind, had lost his eyesight due to smallpox at the age of five. The President climbed down from the podium to confer the Padma Shri on him.