There is only one architect among this year’s 85 Padma awardees and he is not an Indian. Bounlap Keokangna of Laos is awarded Padma Shri for architecture. In an unprecedented move to promote India-ASEAN ties under New Delhi’s Act East Policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced awarding of the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, to one achiever from each of the regional bloc’s 10-member states and Bounlap Keokangna belongs to one of the ASEAN Countries, namely, Laos.
Much information about Bounlap Keokangna is not available and all that we know about him is that he is a heritage conservation architect and has worked on UNESCO projects. His Linkedin profile shows two contacts.
Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Awards are given in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz.- art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service; ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order and ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field. The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.