Eduncle posted an Article
February 21, 2019 • 16:09 pm

Complete List of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients [Quick Facts & History]

Complete List of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients



For extra ordinary performance in the field of literature, art and science, the Government of India grants Bharat Ratna Award to the people of India. It is the highest civilian award granted by Government of India to distinguished citizens.


An award is a form of honor, given to learned men and women, in recognition of the outstanding work in their respective fields.


An award is not only a mark of excellence for the recipients, but is a kind of boost and motivation for them to achieve higher success and aim for even bigger achievements in life.


List of Bharat Ratna Award recipients is a very important topic of General Awareness. Every year, questions are asked in various competitive exams like SSC Exams, IBPS Exams, Railway Exams etc. This article covers the complete details of Bharat Ratna and List of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients.




Take advantage with the FREE STUDY STUFF and enhance your exam prep! Download Study stuff for IBPS, SSC & Railway Exams!




Bharat Ratna Awards: History and Significance



On 2nd January 1954, the President of India had announced two civilian awards: - Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award and three tier Padma Vibhushan award.


There is no formal provision that recipients of the Bharat Ratna should be Indian citizens. It has been awarded to a naturalized Indian citizen.


Initially, the “Bharat Ratna” award was conferred on only alive persons and the award was not intended to be given posthumous. That is why Mahatma Gandhi wasn’t awarded with this award to highlight his exceptional role in nation building. After January 1955, provision was made for issue of posthumous Bharat Ratna award.


The award is conferred in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order, without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The award was originally limited to achievements in the field of arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include any field of human endeavor in December 2011.





Must to Know facts about Bharat Ratna Award



The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna award are made by the prime Minister to the President.


 Maximum of three Bharat Ratna can be awarded in a year.


 The shape of Bharat Ratna Award is in the shape of peepal leaf.


 Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Sir C.V. Raman, and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari were the first recipients of Bharat Ratna award in 1954.


 In 1966, the first posthumous Bharat Ratna was awarded to Lal Bahadur Shastri.


 Mother Teresa was the first naturalized Indian citizen of Bharat Ratna Award winner in 1980.


 The first Sportsmen and the youngest Bharat Ratna award winner is Sachin Tendulkar.


 Indira Gandhi was the first lady to be honored with Bharat Ratna award.






Learn the expert short tricks to crack the Quant Section in SSC, Banking and Railway Exams! Download Formula PDF! Register @Eduncle NOW!




Bharat Ratna Award Specifications and Meaning



Bharat Ratna Award



In the original specification of the award, the award was made in circular shape, a gold medal shaped 35mm in diameter and had devanagari inscription of Bharat Ratna with symbolic sign of sun. On the opposite side, the state emblem of India and motto was there.


But soon next year after the introduction of the award, drastic change was made in the design of the award. Now the award is shaped like a peepal (Ficus Religiosa) leaf measuring 5.8 cm in length, 4.7 cm in width and 3.1 cm in thickness approximately. The award is made up of platinum. An image of sun with the Bharat Ratna Awards inscribed in devanagari script on the front side of the award.



On the opposite side, the State Emblem of India is placed in centre with the national motto Satyamave Jayate in devanagari script.




Disputes related to Bharat Ratna Award



The Bharat Ratna has been surrounded by several controversies and multiple Public-Interest Litigations (PIL) had been filed against the conferral of the award.



1. Award to Subhash Chandra Bose: Posthumous Bharat Ratna Award to the Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992 came into news for typical reasons. A Public Interest Litigation stalled everything and the award was forced to be withdrawn thereafter.



2. Award to Abdul Kalam Azad: The argument of this esteemed freedom fighter was that why should he receive it when he was one of the selection committee members of this award. He was awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously in 1992 for outstanding contributions.



3. Award to Sachin Tendulkar: When it was decided to confer Sachin Tendulkar with Bharat Ratna, one of the activists of RTI gave in writing to India’s Election Commission that such a declaration amounted to violation of code of conduct of the elections. In this petition, he opinioned that as Sachin had been nominated as an MP from Congress, if the Bharat Ratna were to be conferred on him.




Take help of Mock Test Series designed by experts for SSC, IBPS and Railways Exam appearing candidates! Download Sample Mock Test Series for FREE! HURRY, Register @ Eduncle NOW!




List of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients



Following are the recipients of Bharat Ratna Awards from 1954 to 2018:










 Name of Recipient  About him/her Image


Shri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari Last Governor – General, Independence activist  Shri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan India’s 1st Vice President, Philosopher and India’s 2nd President  Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman Physicist  Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman


Dr. Bhagwan Das Author, Independence activist, Kashi Vidya Peeth Founder  Dr. Bhagwan Das
Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya Diwan of Mysore, Civil engineer  Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Author, Independence activist, 1st Prime Minister  Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
1957 Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Independence activist, Home Minister  Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant
1958 Dr. Dhondo Keshave Karve Educator, social reformer  Dr. Dhondo Keshave Karve


Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy Chief Minister of West Bengal and a Physician  Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy
Shri Purushottam Das Tandon Educator, Independence activist  Shri Purushottam Das Tandon
1962 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Jurist, Independence activist, 1st President of India  Dr. Rajendra Prasad


Dr. Zakir Hussain Scholar, Independence activist, 3rd President of India  Dr. Zakir Hussain
Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane Sanskrit scholar and Indologist  Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane
1966 Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (Posthumous) 2nd Prime Minister of India, Independence activist  Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri
1971 Smt. Indira Gandhi Knowns as the Iron Lady of India, 3rd Prime Minister of India  Smt. Indira Gandhi
1975 Shri Varahagiri Venkata Giri 4th President, Trade unionist  Shri Varahagiri Venkata Giri
1976 Shri Kumaraswami Kamraj (Posthumous) Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Independence activist  Shri Kumaraswami Kamraj




Mother Teresa Founder of Missionaries of Charity and a Catholic nun  Mother Teresa
1983 Shri Acharya Vinobha Bhave (Posthumous) Independence activist and a Social reformer  Shri Acharya Vinobha Bhave
1987 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Independence activist, First non-citizen  Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
1988 Shri Marudu Gopalan Ramachandran (Posthumous) Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Film actor  Shri Marudu Gopalan Ramachandran









Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar (Posthumous) Crusader against Untouchablity, Chief architect of Indian Constitution, Social Reformer, Dalit Icon, Historian, Economist, scholar, politician  Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar
Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 2nd non – citizen and non – Indian recipient, Leader of Anti – Apartheid movement  Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela


Shri Rajiv Gandhi (Posthumous) 6th Prime Minister of India  Shri Rajiv Gandhi
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Posthumous) Independence activist, 1st Home Minister  Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai 4th Prime Minister and Independence activist  Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai


Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Posthumous) 1st Minister of Education and an Independence activist  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
Shri Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata Philanthropist and Industrialist  Shri Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata
Shri Satyajit Ray Filmmaker  Shri Satyajit Ray





Shri Gulzarilal Nanda Interim Prime Minster, independence Activist  Shri Gulzarilal Nanda
Smt. Aruna Asaf Ali (Posthumous) Independence activist  Smt. Aruna Asaf Ali
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Aeronautical Engineer and 11th President of India  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam


Smt. Maduari Sanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi Carnatic Classical Singer  Smt. Maduari Sanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi
Shri Chidambaram Subramniam Minister of Agriculture and an Independence Activist  Shri Chidambaram Subramniam











Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan (Posthumous) Politician, Independence Activist  Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan
Professor Amartya Sen Economist  Professor Amartya Sen
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (Posthumous) Chief Minister of Assam, Independence activist  Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi
Pandit Ravi Shankar Sitar Player  Pandit Ravi Shankar


Sushri Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar Playback Singer  Sushri Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar
Ustad Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical Shehnai player  Ustad Bismillah Khan


Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi Hindustani classical Singer  Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi





Sachin Tendulkar Indian Cricketer, First Sportsman and Youngest Indian who got Bharat Ratna  Sachin Tendulkar
Prof. C.N.R Rao Indian Scientist  Prof. C.N.R Rao


Atal Bihari Vajpayee Atal Bihari Vajpayee is an Indian statesman who was the Eleventh Prime Minister of India from BJP  Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Madan Mohan Malviya The freedom icon and Educationist popularly known as ‘Mahamana”  Madan Mohan Malviya

This is the list of Bharat Ratna Award recipients and some must to know facts about them.



Must Read: RBI’s Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Review, Key Rates Kept Unchanged




Benefits to Bharat Ratna Awardee



The Bharat Ratna awardee receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President of India and a medallion. This medallion is made by the India Government Mint in Kolkata. The benefits and facilities associated with Bharat Ratna award are:



Free first class flight journey anywhere in India.


  Free first class train journey.


  Pension equal to or 50% of Prime Minister of India’s salary.


  Can attend the Parliament meetings and sessions.


  Special Guest in Republic Day and Independence Day.


  Status equal to VVIP.




Suggested Reads:


 Padma Awards 2017, History, and Complete List of Padma Awardees Top 10 Government Recruitment Exams to Apply in 2018! [Complete List] List of Important Hydro, Thermal & Nuclear Power Plants in India [PDF]




Get synopsis of daily current affairs & important news covered comprehensively in GK Eduwrap. Download available for Weekly & Monthly Editions!




Bharat Ratna Awards are given for exceptional and unique services in any field.


This article covers the details and the list of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients. You can visit Eduncle for more General Awareness study material.


Place your doubts in the comment box provided below. Do share it with your friends, if you find our blog useful.


Stay tuned with us through our social media channels.








Do You Want Better RANK in Your Exam?

Start Your Preparations with Eduncle’s FREE Study Material

  • Updated Syllabus, Paper Pattern & Full Exam Details
  • Sample Theory of Most Important Topic
  • Model Test Paper with Detailed Solutions
  • Last 5 Years Question Papers & Answers