Bharat Ratna Award and Winners

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Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India. This award is given by the Government of India.

The recommendations for this award are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of 3 nominees being awarded per year.

The Recipients receive a certificate that is signed by the President of India.

Now moving on to some important facts about this award.

Bharat Ratna

TypeNational Civilian
FrontAn image of the Sun along with the words “Bharat Ratna”, inscribed in Devanagari script, on a peepal (Ficus religiosa) leaf.
ReverseA platinum State Emblem of India placed in the centre with the national motto, “Satyamev Jayate” In Devanagari script.
Established1954
First Award1954
Total Awarded48

First Award Winners

The first award winners of Bharat Ratna in 1954 are:

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Tamil Nadu)
C. Rajagopalchari (Tamil Nadu)
C.V. Raman (Tamil Nadu)
First Prime Minister to receive this award Jawaharlal Nehru (U.P.) in 1955
First Posthumous to receive this award Lal Bahadur Shastri (U.P.) in 1966
First president recipient of this awardSarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Tamil Nadu (1954)
First Female to get this awardIndira Gandhi (U.P) in 1971
First Musician to get this award Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (Tamil Nadu) in 1998
First Non-Indian to receive award Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan also known as frontier Gandhi from Pakistan in 1987.
Youngest person to receive this award Sachin Tendulkar (Maharashtra) in 2014

Total Indian Presidents who receive this award.

There are total 6 presidents of India who receive this award, here is the list of all 6 presidents:

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Tamil Nadu (1954)
Rajendra Prasad Bihar (1962)
Zakir Hussain Uttar Pradesh (1962)
A. P. J. Abdul KalamTamil Nadu (1997)
Dr. V V Giri Odisha (1975)
Pranab MukherjeeWest Bengal (2019)

2019 Bharat Ratna

Pranab Mukherjee 2019 Bharat Ratna Winner
Pranab Mukherjee

West Bengal

Bhupen Hazarika awarded this award
Bhupen Hazarika
(Posthumously)

Assam

Nanaji Deshmukh
Nanaji Deshmukh
(Posthumously)

Maharashtra

You can check complete list of recipient of Bharat Ratna here

YearRecipientsDescriptions
1954C. Rajagopalachari
An Indian independence activist, statesman, and lawyer, Rajagopalachari was the only Indian and last Governor-General of independent India. He was Chief Minister of Madras Presidency (1937–39) and Madras State (1952–54); and founder of the Indian political party Swatantra Party
Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanHe served as India’s first Vice-President (1952–62) and second President (1962–67). Since 1962, his birthday on 5 September is observed as “Teachers’ Day” in India.
C. V. RamanWidely known for his work on the scattering of light and the discovery of the effect, better known as “Raman scattering”. He also receive  Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
1955Bhagwan DasIndependence activist, philosopher, and educationist, and co-founder of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapithand and also founded Banaras Hindu University with Madan Modan Malaviya.
M. VisvesvarayaHe was a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire. 15 September, is observed as “Engineer’s Day” in India because of his birthday.
Jawaharlal NehruHe was an independence activist and author. Nehru is the first and the longest-serving Prime Minister of India
1957Govind Ballabh PantSocial reformer and educator, Karve is widely known for his works related to woman education and remarriage of Hindu widows. He founded Widow Marriage Association (1883), Hindu Widows Home (1896), and started Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women’s University in 1916.
1961Bidhan Chandra RoyHe was a physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker, Roy is often considered as “Maker of Modern West Bengal”. He was second Chief Minister of West Bengal (1948–62) and his birthday on 1 July is observed as National Doctors’ Day in India.
Purushottam Das Tandon He titled as “Rajarshi”, Tandon was an independence activist and served as speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1937–50). 
1962Rajendra PrasadHe was an independence activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar, Prasad and closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement for Indian independence. He was later elected as the first President of India
1963Zakir HusainHe was a Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University (1948–56) and the Governor of Bihar (1957–62).
Pandurang Vaman KaneHistory of Dharmasastra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India; the “monumental” work that extends over nearly 6,500 pages and being published from 1930 to 1962.
1966Lal Bahadur ShastriHe gave slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”, second Prime Minister of India (1964–66) and led the country during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
1971Indira Gandhi “Iron Lady of India”, Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India during 1966–77 and 1980–84. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, her government supported Bangladesh Liberation War 
1975V. V. Giri. Post-independence, Giri held positions of Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore and various other cabinet ministries. He became the first acting President and was eventually elected as the fourth President of India (1969–74)
1976K. KamarajChief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms; 1954–57, 1957–62, and 1962–63
1980Mother Teresa “Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta” was a catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work in 1979 and was beatified on 19 October 2003 by Pope John Paul II and canonized on 4 September 2016 by Pope Francis.
1983Vinoba BhaveHe was given the title “Acharya” and was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1958) for his humanitarian work.
1987Khan Abdul Ghaffar KhanWidely known as “Frontier Gandhi”, independence activist and Pashtun leader Khan was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He joined Khilafat Movement in 1920 and founded Khudai Khidmatgar
1988M. G. RamachandranHe was an Actor turned politician Ramachandran served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms; 1977–80, 1980–84, and 1985–87.
1990B. R. AmbedkarSocial reformer and leader of the Dalits (“Untouchables”), Ambedkar was the Chief architect of the Indian Constitution and also served as the first Law Minister of India.  He was associated with the Dalit Buddhist movement and accepted Buddhism as a religion along with his followers on 14 October 1956.
Nelson MandelaLeader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, Mandela was the President of South Africa (1994–99).  Called as the “Gandhi of South Africa”, In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1991Rajiv GandhiGandhi was the seventh Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989
Vallabhbhai PatelWidely known as the “Iron Man of India”, Patel was an independence activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India.
Morarji DesaiIndependence activist Desai was the sixth Prime Minister of India (1977–79). He is the only Indian national to be awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan
1992Abul Kalam Azad He was widely known as “Maulana Azad” and his birthday on 11 November is observed as National Education Day in India. Independence activist Azad was India’s first Minister of Education and worked towards free primary education
J. R. D. TataIndustrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer, Tata founded India’s first airline Air India.
Satyajit RayHaving debuted as a director with Pather Panchali (1955), film-maker Ray is credited with bringing world recognition to Indian cinema. , Ray was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema in 1984.
1997Gulzarilal Nanda
Independence activist Nanda was two times interim Prime Minister of India (1964, 1966) and two times deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
Aruna Asaf AliIndependence activist Ali is better known for hoisting the Indian flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
A. P. J. Abdul KalamAerospace and defence scientist, Kalam was involved in the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle SLV III and was the architect of Integrated Guided Missile Development Program. He worked for Indian National Committee for Space Research, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Laboratory and was appointed as the Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister, Secretary to Department of Defence Research and Development and Director General of Defence Research and Development Organisation. Later, he served as the eleventh President of India from 2002 till 2007.
1998M. S. Subbulakshmi The first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award. Carnatic classical vocalist Subbulakshmi, often hailed as “Queen of songs”,
Chidambaram SubramaniamSubramaniam is known for his contribution towards Green Revolution in India. During the late 1970s, he worked for International Rice Research Institute, Manila, and the International Maize and Wheat Research Institute, Mexico.
1999Jayaprakash NarayanIndependence activist, social reformer, and commonly referred as “Lok Nayak” (“People’s Hero”), Narayan is better known for “Total Revolution Movement” or “JP Movement” initiated during the mid-1970s to “overthrow the corrupt and exploitative Congress government”.
Amartya Sen Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences (1998). 
Gopinath BordoloiIndependence activist Bordoloi is the first Chief Minister of Assam
Ravi ShankarWinner of four Grammy Awards and often considered “the world’s best-known exponent of Hindustani classical music”
2001Lata MangeshkaIn 1989, Mangeshkar was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Widely credited as the “nightingale of India”, playback singer Mangeshkar started her career in the 1940s and has sung songs in over 36 languages.
Bismillah KhanShehnai player, Khan played the instrument for more than eight decades and is credited to have brought the instrument to the centre stage of Indian music.
2009Bhimsen JoshiHe is widely known for the Khyal genre of singing with a “mastery over rhythm and accurate notes”.
2014C. N. R. RaoThe recipient of Honorary Doctorates from 63 Universities including Purdue, IIT Bombay, Oxford, chemist and professor Rao has worked prominently in the fields of Solid State and Materials Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Molecular Structure
Sachin Tendulkar

He played 664 international cricket matches in a career spanning over two decades. He holds various cricket records including the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in both ODI and Test cricket.

2015 Award Winners

Atal Bihari VajpayeeMadhya Pradesh
Madan Mohan Malaviya
(Posthumously)
Uttar Pradesh

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