This article is about the Bharat Ratna Award, the highest civilian award in India. This topic is an important part of UPSC and other government exams.
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 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 centre and Bharat Ratna is engraved underneath it.
- On the backside, the emblem of India is embossed and Satyameva Jayate is inscribed in Devanagari script.
- The medallion is worn around the neck using a 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 endeavour” 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 the 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.
List of Bharat Ratna Awardees:
|Bharat Ratna Awardees||Year||Brief Description|
|C. Rajagopalachari||1954||Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer, historian and statesman.
Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India
|Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan||1954||Indian philosopher and statesman.
First Vice President of India
|C. V. Raman||1954|| Indian physicist who carried out ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering
|Bhagwan Das||1955||Indian Theosophist and a part of Central Legislative Assembly of British India|
|M. Visvesvaraya||1955||Civil Engineer & Statesman|
|Jawaharlal Nehru||1955||Indian independence activist,
First Prime Minister of India
|Govind Ballabh Pant||1957||Indian freedom fighter
One of the architects of modern India
|Dhondo Keshav Karve||1958||A social reformer in India in the field of women’s welfare|
|Bidhan Chandra Roy||1961||An eminent Indian physician, educationist, philanthropist, freedom fighter and politician
He served as the Chief Minister of West Bengal from 1948
|Purushottam Das Tandon||1961||A freedom fighter from Uttar Pradesh, India.
He has put enormous efforts into achieving the Official Language of India status for Hindi.
|Rajendra Prasad||1962||First President of India|
|Zakir Husain||1963||Third President of India|
|Pandurang Vaman Kane||1963||Indologist and Sanskrit scholar|
|Lal Bahadur Shastri||1966||Second Prime Minister of India|
|Indira Gandhi||1971||The only female Prime Minister of India|
|V. V. Giri||1975||Fourth President of India|
|K. Kamaraj||1976||A leader of the Indian National Congress|
|Mother Teresa||1980||An Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary|
|Vinoba Bhave||1983||An Indian advocate of nonviolence and human rights|
|Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan||1987||A Pashtun independence activist|
|M. G. Ramachandran||1988||An Indian actor, filmmaker and politician who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.|
|B. R. Ambedkar||1990||An Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who was a part of the Dalit Buddhist movement|
|Nelson Mandela||1990||A South African revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa|
|Rajiv Gandhi||1991||An Indian politician who served as the 6th Prime Minister of India|
|Vallabhbhai Patel||1991||The First Deputy Prime Minister of India|
|Morarji Desai||1991||An Indian independence activist
4th Prime Minister of India
|Abul Kalam Azad||1992||An Indian scholar, independence activist, and a senior leader of the Indian National Congress|
|J. R. D. Tata||1992||Chairman of Tata Group|
|Satyajit Ray||1992||Indian filmmaker, screenwriter, music composer, graphic artist, lyricist and author|
|Aruna Asaf Ali||1997||An Indian independence activist
First Mayor of Delhi
|Gulzarilal Nanda||1997||Indian politician and economist who specialized in labour issues|
|Dr A.P.J Abdul Kalam||1997||Missile Man of India|
|M. S. Subbulakshmi||1998||Indian Carnatic singer from Madurai, Tamil Nadu|
|Chidambaram Subramaniam||1998||An Indian politician and Independence activist|
|Jayaprakash Narayan||1999||Indian independence activist, theorist, socialist and political leader|
|Amartya Sen||1999||Indian economist and philosopher|
|Gopinath Bordoloi||1999||First Chief Minister of Assam|
|Ravi Shankar||1999||An Indian musician and a composer of Hindustani classical music|
|Lata Mangeshkar||2001||Indian playback singer and music director|
|Bismillah Khan||2001||Indian musician credited with popularizing the shehnai|
|Bhimsen Joshi||2009||Indian vocalist from Karnataka|
|C. N. R. Rao||2014||Currently, the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India|
|Sachin Tendulkar||2014||Former captain of the Indian national team and one of the greatest batsman in the history of Cricket.|
|Madan Mohan Malaviya||2015||An Indian educationist and politician|
|Atal Bihari Vajpayee||2015|| Indian politician, statesman and a poet.
He served three terms as the Prime Minister of India
|Pranab Mukherjee||2019||13th President of India|
|Nanaji Deshmukh||2019||Social Activist|
|Bhupen Hazarika||2019||An Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker from Assam|
List of Bharat Ratna Awardees 1954 to 2019:- Download PDF Here
Multiple Choice Questio
Q.1 Consider the following statements
- The 1st singer to be awarded Bharat Ratna was Lata Mangeshkar.
- Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, is the only non-Indian to receive Bharat Ratna.
- The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. The recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal leaf-shaped medallion. There is no monetary grant associated with the award.
- M. Visvesvaraya was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1955. His birthday, 15 September, is observed as “Engineer’s Day” in India.
Choose the correct answer from the below-given options
A) Only statements 1 and 2 are false.
B) Only statements 3 and 4 are false.
C) All the above statements are true.
D) All the above statements are false.
Q.2 In the Indian Order of Precedence at what number do Bharat Ratna recipients rank?
Answer: C) Seventh
Frequently Asked Questions about Bharat Ratna
How many people can be nominated for a Bharat Ratna?
Who were the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna?
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