Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, late music maestro from Tamil Nadu SP Balasubramaniam and noted doctor from Karnataka Belle Monappa Hegde have been conferred with `Padma Vibhushan', the second-highest civilian awards, by President Ramnath Kovind this year.

Three people from Andhra Pradesh are also among the Padma award winners this year. Annavarapu Ramaswamy, the 96-year-old violin maestro, who pursued music for over 81 years, is among two people from Andhra Pradesh to have been conferred with Padma Shri this year in the field of art. Nidumolu Sumathi is the second to be awarded Padma Shri.

This year 119 people have been awarded Padma awards. Four people from the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have made it to the list.

Master of Avadhana Dr. Asavadi Prakasa Rao has also been conferred the Padma Shri in the field of literature and Education. Avadhani is a poet, writer, critic, and translator besides being an academic.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy congratulated the recipients of the Padma Awards for 2021."The Awardees have made Andhra Pradesh proud by their immense contribution in their chosen field and the recognition is an acknowledgment for their accomplishment," the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile from Telangana, 63 year old Master G Kanaka Raju from Asifabad of Telangana has been awarded Padma Shri in the field of art. He is the only recipient from Telangana. The tribal community of Asifabad district were elated on hearing the news. Dance master Raju belongs to Marlavai of Jainoor Mandal of Asifabad. Over 4 decades, the awardee has trained scores of youth and had performed in New Delhi during former Prime Minister Late Indira Gandhi's rule.

Around 119 people have been conferred with Padma awards this year. Padma Awards are one the highest civilian awards conferred by the President on the eve of Republic Day every year. These awards were instituted in the year 1954 and are conferred in three categories- Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.

Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. This year, seven people have been honored with this award.

Padma Bhusan: Ten people have been honored with this award. However, none from Telugu speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been conferred with this award.

Padma Shri: As many as 102 people have been honored with this award, including three from Andhra Pradesh.

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