‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest civilian award of India, was instituted in the year 1954.
Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for these awards.
It is awarded for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order.
The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President. No formal recommendations for this are necessary.
The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
On conferment of the award, the recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion.
The award does not carry any monetary grant.
In terms of Article 18 (1) of the Constitution, the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name. However, should an award winner consider it necessary, he/she may use the following expression in their bio-data/letterhead/visiting card etc. to indicate that he/she is a recipient of the award: –
‘Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President’
‘Recipient of Bharat Ratna award’
List of Bharat Ratna Awardees
- Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (1954)
- Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (1954)
- Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (1954)
- Dr. Mokshagundam Vivesvaraya (1955)
- Jawaharlal Nehru (1955)
- Dr. Bhagwan Das (1955)
- Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant (1957)
- Dr. Dhonde Keshav Karve (1958)
- Purushottam Das Tandon (1961)
- Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy (1961)
- Dr. Rajendra Prasad (1962)
- Dr. Zakir Hussain (1963)
- Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane (1963)
- Lal Bahadur Shastri (1966)
- Mrs. Indira Gandhi (1971)
- Varahagiri Venkata Giri (1975)
- Kumaraswamy Kamraj (1976)
- Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) (1980)
- Acharya Vinoba Bhave (1983)
- Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987)
- Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran (1988)
- Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1990)
- Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedakr (1990)
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1991)
- Rajiv Gandhi (1991)
- Morarji Ranchhodji Desai (1991)
- Satyajit Ray (1992)
- Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (1992)
- Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata (1992)
- Gulzari Lal Nanda (1997)
- Mrs. Aruna Asaf Ali (1997)
- Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (1997)
- Mrs. Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (1998)
- Chidambaram Subramaniam (1998)
- Pandit Ravi Shankar (1999)
- Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan (1999)
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (1999)
- Prof. Amartya Sen (1999)
- Ustad Bismillah Khan (2001)
- Kumari Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar (2001)
- Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (2008)
- Prof. Chintamani Nagesha Ramachandra Rao (2013)
- Sachin Tendulkar (2013)
- Madan Mohan Malaviya (2014)
- Atal Bihari Vajpayee (2014)