Bharat Ratna Award Winners List (1954 to 2024): History, Selection Process, and Recipients

Bharat Ratna Award Winners List (1954 to 2024): History, Selection Process, and Recipients

Bharat Ratna Award Winners List

Bharat Ratna award is the highest civilian honour that a person can get in India. Today in this article we’ll discuss the Bharat Ratna Award Winners in the history of independent India. Since the inception of the award not many people have got it. There are also other national awards such as Padam Vibhushan, Padm Shri , however Bharat Ratna is the highest honour amongst them. Below we have discussed the selection process of Bharat Ratna awards and what does the recipient get. Let’s have a look at the Bharat Ratna award.

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Selection process for Bharat Ratna

The process of selection for Bharat Ratna award is different from that of Padma awards. In this, the Prime Minister of India recommends the name of a person to the President for Bharat Ratna. No formal recommendation is required for Bharat Ratna. Any person can be considered eligible for this award without any distinction on the basis of caste, profession, position or gender. Only three Bharat Ratnas are given in a year. Also, it is not necessary that Bharat Ratna award be given every year. Till now a total of 48 people have been awarded Bharat Ratna. Last time this honour was given in the year 2019. In 2019, Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously) was awarded Bharat Ratna in the field of social service, Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (posthumously) in the field of art and former President of India Pranab Mukherjee was awarded Bharat Ratna for public work.

What do Bharat Ratna recipients get?

Bharat Ratna recipients are given a certificate and a medal from the Government of India. No money is given with this honour. Government departments provide facilities to its recipients. For example, Bharat Ratna recipients get free travel facilities from the Railways. Bharat Ratna recipients are invited to participate in important government programs. The government gives him a place in the Warrant of Presidency. Those who receive the Bharat Ratna are given a place in the protocol after the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Governor, former President, Deputy Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Cabinet Minister, Chief Minister, former Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in both the Houses of Parliament. Warrant of Presidency is used to give preference in government programs. State governments provide facilities in their states to Bharat Ratna awardees. This honour cannot be added before or after your name. However, recipients can write in their bio-data, letterhead or visiting card – ‘Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President’ or ‘Bharat Ratna Recipient’.

Bharat Ratna Award Winners List From 1954 to 2024

Year Recipients About
Bharat Ratna 1954 C. Rajagopalachari Activist, statesman, and lawyer
Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan India’s first Vice-President and second President
C. V. Raman Physicists, mathematicians, and scientists
Bharat Ratna 1955 Bhagwan Das Activist, philosopher, and educationist
M. Visvesvaraya Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore
Jawaharlal Nehru Activist and author served as the Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1957 Govind Ballabh Pant Activist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Ratna 1958 Dhondo Keshav Karve Social reformer and educator
Bharat Ratna 1961 Bidhan Chandra Roy Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker
Purushottam Das Tandon Activist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly
Bharat Ratna 1962 Rajendra Prasad Activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar
Bharat Ratna 1963 Zakir Husain Activist, economist, and education philosopher served as a Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
Pandurang Vaman Kane Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work
Bharat Ratna 1966 Lal Bahadur Shastri Activist and served as the second Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1971 Indira Gandhi First women Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1975 V. V. Giri Trade Unionist
Bharat Ratna 1976 K. Kamaraj Independence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1980 Mother Teresa Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
1983 Vinoba Bhave Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
Bharat Ratna 1987 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan First noncitizen, independence activist
Bharat Ratna 1988 M. G. Ramachandran Actor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1990 B.R. Ambedkar Social reformer and leader of the Dalits
Nelson Mandela Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa
Bharat Ratna 1991 Rajiv Gandhi Gandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.
Vallabhbhai Patel Activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India
Morarji Desai Activist, and Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1992 Abul Kalam Azad Activist and first Minister of education
J. R. D. Tata Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
Satyajit Ray Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist
Bharat Ratna 1997 Gulzarilal Nanda Activist, and interim Prime Minister of India.
Aruna Asaf Ali Activist
A.P.J Abdul Kalam Aerospace and defense scientist
Bharat Ratna 1998 M. S. Subbulakshmi Carnatic classical vocalist
Chidambaram Subramaniam Activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India
Bharat Ratna 1999 Jayaprakash Narayan Activist, and social reformer
Amartya Sen Economist
Gopinath Bordoloi Activist
Ravi Shankar Musician, sitar player
Bharat Ratna 2001 Lata Mangeshkar Singer
Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical shehnai player
Bharat Ratna 2009 Bhimsen Joshi Hindustani classical vocalist
Bharat Ratna 2014 C. N. R. Rao Chemist and professor, author
Sachin Tendulkar Cricketer
Bharat Ratna 2015 Madan Mohan Malaviya Scholar and educational reformer.
Atal Bihari Bajpayee Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms.
Bharat Ratna 2019 Pranab Mukherjee Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
Nanaji Deshmukh A social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Bhupen Hazarika Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.
Bharat Ratna 2024 (Posthumously) Karpoori Thakur A renowned socialist leader and former Chief Minister of Bihar
Bharat Ratna 2024 Lal Krishna Advani A Veteran Bhartiya Janta Party Leader
Bharat Ratna 2024 PV Narsimha Rao Former Prime Minister
Bharat Ratna 2024 Chaudhary Charan Singh A former Prime Minister who supported the agricultural sector and upheld the rights of the farmers.
Bharat Ratna 2024 MS Swaminathan Father of Green Revolution


Facts about Bharat Ratna Award

  • Bharat Ratna is given both during life and posthumously.
  • In 2013, for the first time, it was decided to give Bharat Ratna for the highest contribution/performance in the field of sports.
  • After this, in 2014, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was awarded this honour.
  • This award can also be given to non-Indians. Mother Teresa was given Bharat Ratna in 1980. Freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (born in India before independence and later went to Pakistan) and former South African President Nelson Mandela have also been awarded this honour.
  • A maximum of three Bharat Ratnas can be given in any one year.
  • In this honour one gets only a certificate and a medal. No money is received.
  • Years 1956, 1959, 1960, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968-70, 1972-74, 1977-79, 1981, 1982, 1984-86, 1993-96, 2000, 2002-08, 2010-13, 2020-22 Bharat Ratna was not given. Bharat Ratna award has been suspended twice. After this the awards were restarted.


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