The government announced Padma awards on the eve of Republic day.

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General Bipin Rawat, India’s first chief of defence staff, will be posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the government said on the eve of 73rd Republic Day.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday remembered General Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash late last year along with his wife and 12 other defence personnel.

Addressing the nation on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day, the President said when a brave soldier dies on duty, the entire country feels sad.

The Union ministry of home affairs said Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech and Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute of India will receive Padma Bhushan.

While Krishna Ella and Suchitra Ella have pioneered the Covaxin initiative, Poonawalla is instrumental in bringing the Covishield vaccine.

The government said Olympic medalist Neeraj Chopra will be given the Padma Shri. Chopra is the first track and field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics.

Veteran politician Kalyan Singh will receive the Padma Vibhushan posthumously

Also, late Communist leader and West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad will be awarded Padma Bhushan.