Bharat Ratna – ‘Jewel of India’ is the highest civilian award of the country. It is conferred for exceptional Service to the nation in various fields such as Science arts, literature and in recognition of public service of the highest order. The award can be granted posthumously and since its establishment, seven awards were granted posthumously.
- The award was established by formal President of India Rajendra Prasad on 2nd January 1954.
- The concept of awarding this award posthumously was not there in the original statute declared in January 1954.
- Provision to award posthumously was finally added in January 1966 statute of this prestigious award.
- First Bharat Ratna was awarded to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Sir C.V. Raman, and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari in 1954.
- Sachin Tendulkar is the first sportsperson and the youngest Bharat Ratna Award, recipient.
- The medallion is cast in Bronze.
- The medallion is designed like the leaf of pipal tree with sunburst in the center and Bharat Ratna is engraved underneath it.
- On the backside, Indian emblem of India is embossed and Satyameva Jayate is inscribed in Devanagari script.
- The medallion is worn around the neck using white ribbon.
- The award does not carry any monetary endowment.
- The award was initially restricted to accomplishments in the literature, science, arts, and public services, but the government of India expanded the conditions to comprise “any field of human endeavor” in 2011.
- There is no written provision that Bharat Ratna should be awarded to Indian citizens only.
- Recently Government of India has altered guidelines for eligibility of persons from sports field for the Bharat Ratna.
- The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
- The number of yearly awards is constrained to a maximum of three in a specific year.
- In 1992, Subhash Chandra Bose was awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously. As there is no solid evidence of Subhash Chandra Bose’s death his family declined to receive the award.
- Rajendra Prasad, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Morarji Desai Lata Mangeshkar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Amartya Sen, Jayprakash Narayan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, M S Subbulakshmi, Rajiv Gandhi, and J R D Tata, A P J Abdul Kalam, are among the other recipients of Bharat Ratna.
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