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.
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.
Bharat Ratna Award Specifications and Meaning
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.
List of Bharat Ratna Award Recipients
Following are the recipients of Bharat Ratna Awards from 1954 to 2017:
|Name of Recipient||About him/her||Image|
|Shri Chakravarti Rajagopalachari||Last Governor – General, Independence activist|
|Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan||India’s 1st Vice President, Philosopher and India’s 2nd President|
|Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman||Physicist|
|Dr. Bhagwan Das||Author, Independence activist, Kashi Vidya Peeth Founder|
|Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya||Diwan of Mysore, Civil engineer|
|Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru||Author, Independence activist, 1st Prime Minister|
|1957||Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant||Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Independence activist, Home Minister|
|1958||Dr. Dhondo Keshave Karve||Educator, social reformer|
|Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy||Chief Minister of West Bengal and a Physician|
|Shri Purushottam Das Tandon||Educator, Independence activist|
|1962||Dr. Rajendra Prasad||Jurist, Independence activist, 1st President of India|
|Dr. Zakir Hussain||Scholar, Independence activist, 3rd President of India|
|Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane||Sanskrit scholar and Indologist|
|1966||Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (Posthumous)||2nd Prime Minister of India, Independence activist|
|1971||Smt. Indira Gandhi||Knowns as the Iron Lady of India, 3rd Prime Minister of India|
|1975||Shri Varahagiri Venkata Giri||4th President, Trade unionist|
|1976||Shri Kumaraswami Kamraj (Posthumous)||Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Independence activist|
|Mother Teresa||Founder of Missionaries of Charity and a Catholic nun|
|1983||Shri Acharya Vinobha Bhave (Posthumous)||Independence activist and a Social reformer|
|1987||Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan||Independence activist, First non-citizen|
|1988||Shri Marudu Gopalan Ramachandran (Posthumous)||Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Film actor|
|Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar (Posthumous)||Crusader against Untouchablity, Chief architect of Indian Constitution, Social Reformer, Dalit Icon, Historian, Economist, scholar, politician|
|Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela||2nd non – citizen and non – Indian recipient, Leader of Anti – Apartheid movement|
|Shri Rajiv Gandhi (Posthumous)||6th Prime Minister of India|
|Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Posthumous)||Independence activist, 1st Home Minister|
|Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai||4th Prime Minister and Independence activist|
|Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Posthumous)||1st Minister of Education and an Independence activist|
|Shri Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata||Philanthropist and Industrialist|
|Shri Satyajit Ray||Filmmaker|
|Shri Gulzarilal Nanda||Interim Prime Minster, independence Activist|
|Smt. Aruna Asaf Ali (Posthumous)||Independence activist|
|Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam||Aeronautical Engineer and 11th President of India|
|Smt. Maduari Sanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi||Carnatic Classical Singer|
|Shri Chidambaram Subramniam||Minister of Agriculture and an Independence Activist|
|Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan (Posthumous)||Politician, Independence Activist|
|Professor Amartya Sen||Economist|
|Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (Posthumous)||Chief Minister of Assam, Independence activist|
|Pandit Ravi Shankar||Sitar Player|
|Sushri Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar||Playback Singer|
|Ustad Bismillah Khan||Hindustani classical Shehnai player|
|Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi||Hindustani classical Singer|
|Sachin Tendulkar||Indian Cricketer, First Sportsman and Youngest Indian who got Bharat Ratna|
|Prof. C.N.R Rao||Indian Scientist|
|Atal Bihari Vajpayee||Atal Bihari Vajpayee is an Indian statesman who was the Eleventh Prime Minister of India from BJP|
|Madan Mohan Malviya||The freedom icon and Educationist popularly known as ‘Mahamana”|
This is the list of Bharat Ratna Award recipients and some must to know facts about them.
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.
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.
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