Jewels of India – Bharat Ratna an Honour not an Award


 The Bharat Ratna is  the highest civilian award of our country, and was instituted in the 2nd January, 1954. Basically, it’s not a award and is an honour to be “Jewel of India”. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.

Who is Honoured with the Bharat Ratna Award?

The award is given “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 arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include “any field of human endeavour” in December 2011.

Who Recommends the Bharat Ratna Awardees?

The Bharat Ratna awards are given by the President of India. However, the recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President. Maximum of three nominees can be awarded per year. However, in 1999 four individuals were awarded the honour.

The award was briefly suspended twice in its history (1977-1980) and (1992-1995).

The Bharat Ratna medals are produced at Alipore Mint, Kolkata along with the other civilian and military awards like Padma Vibushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, and Param Veer Chakra.

Must to Know Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award. But Bharat Ratna recipients are constitutionally prohibited to use award name as title as per Article 18 of the Constitution of India. However, it has several emoluments and perks.

Few Perks and Emoluments Associated with Bharat Ratna Award

1) Free first class flight journey anywhere in India.
2) Free first class train journey.
3) Pension equal to or 50% of Prime Minister of India’s salary.
4) Can attend the Parliament meetings and sessions.
5) Precedence at par with Cabinet Rank.
6) Eligible for Z category protection, if needed.
7) Special Guest in Republic Day and Independence Day.
8) Status equal to VVIP.

Prime Ministers of India who Received Bharat Ratna

So far, seven Prime Ministers of India have been awarded with the Bharat Ratna

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru
  2. Morarji Desai
  3. Lal Bahadur Shastri
  4. Gulzarilal Nanda. Gulzarila Nanda twice served as the interim Prime Minister of India, once when Jawaharlal Nehru died and next when Lal Bahadur Shastri died
  5. Indira Gandhi
  6. Rajiv Gandhi
  7. Atal Bihari Vajapayee

List of Bharat Ratna Awardees

  • First Bharat Ratna was awarded to Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Sir C.V. Raman, and Chakravarti Rajagopalachari in 1954
  • Mother Teresa was the first naturalized Indian citizen of Bharat Ratna Award Winner in 1980
  • Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987) and Nelson Mandela (1990) were the first two non-Indians who were honoured with Bharat Ratna Award
  • Sachin Tendulkar (2014) is the first sportsperson and the youngest (40) who received Bharat Ratna
  • Indira Gandhi was the first lady to be honoured with Bharat Ratna Award
  • Second Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be awarded posthumously
  • M. S. Subbulakshmi and Lata Mangeshkar are the two vocalists  ever have been awarded with Bharat Ratna
  • In 1999,  first time four people received honour- Jaiprakash Narayan, Ravi Shankar, AmartyaSen, Gopinath Bardolai
  • Last Bharat Ratna was awarded in 2015 to Atal Bihari Vajpayee and  Madan Mohan Malviya. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India during the years 1996, 1998 and 1999 to 2004. From 1977 to 1979, he was the External Affairs Minister. In 1994, he was given the Best Parliamentarian Award also. Madan Mohan Malviya was a scholar  and educational reformer and served as the Banaras Hindu University Vice-Chancellor From 1919 Till 1938

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