Sushma Swaraj: former Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj receives Padma Vibhushan

Former Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj received the Padma Vibhushan Prize on Monday posthumously.

President Ram Nath Kovind presents the Padma Awards at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Sushma Swaraj’s daughter, Bansuri Swaraj, received the award on her behalf.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Interior Minister Amit Shah, Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, among others, were also present on the occasion.

Sushma Swaraj has served as a minister in all governments led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and has held various portfolios. She was foreign minister in the previous BJP-led government and was the first female chief

Minister of Delhi for a brief period in 1998.

She died at AIIMS on August 6 of last year following a cardiac arrest. Thousands of people bid farewell to the late minister as she was buried with all state honors.

The Padma Awards are one of India’s highest civilian honors, announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.

The awards are presented in three categories: Padma Vibhushan (for outstanding and distinguished service), Padma Bhushan (distinguished service of higher order) and Padma Shri (distinguished service).

The award aims to recognize achievements in all fields of activity or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.

119 Padma Awards will be presented by the President this year. The list includes seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri Awards. 29 of the recipients are women, 16 will receive this honor posthumously and one is a transgender recipient.

Shirlene J. Manley