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      Bharat Ratna Award : From C Rajagopalachari To Pranab Mukherjee | Full List Of Bharat Ratna Awardees Since 1954

      Government of India confers Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country, on eminent personalities, evaluating their contributions to the nation. The award was instituted in 1954, 7 years after India got Independence from British rule. 

      Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and Dr CV Raman were bestow the honour that year.

      The count of Bharat Ratna recipients has since gone up to 50.

      As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Bharat Ratna is awarded “in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour“, and the recipients are chosen “without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex“.

      The recipients of the award so far include former Presidents, Prime Ministers, scientists, political leaders, educators, and artistes, among many others.    

      The award constitutes a medallion and a certificate sign by the President.

      There is no monetary grant.

      • As said in Article 18 (1) of the Indian Constitution, the Bharat Ratna cannot be use as a prefix or suffix to the name of the recipient.
      • The awardees can use ‘Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President’, or ‘Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award’ on their letterhead or visiting card etc.

      Full List Of Bharat Ratna Awardees  

      YEARAWARDEES NAMEABOUT AWARDEES
      1954Chakravarti RajagopalachariThe last Governor-General of independent India, C Rajagopalachari was a freedom fighter, statesman, and founder of the Swatantra Party. He was honored for his contribution to Indian politics and literature.
      1954Dr Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanEsteemed philosopher and India’s second President, Radhakrishnan was celebrated for his profound scholarship and contribution to Indian education. His birthday is observed as Teacher’s Day in India.
      1954Dr CV RamanNobel laureate in Physics for discovering the Raman Effect, Raman’s work in the field of light scattering is globally recognised. His research laid foundational stones for Indian scientific advancements.
      1955Dr Bhagwan DasA philosopher, freedom fighter, and educationist, Das was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. His contributions to Indian education and philosophy earned him this honor.
      1955Dr M VisvesvarayaAn eminent engineer and statesman, Visvesvaraya’s contributions to engineering and education in India are monumental. He designed the famous Krishna Raja Sagara dam of Mysuru.
      1955Pt Jawaharlal NehruIndependent India’s first Prime Minister, Nehru’s vision for a secular, modern India was pivotal in shaping the newly independent nation. His policies laid the foundation for India’s socio-economic development.
      1957Pandit Govind Ballabh PantA key figure in India’s freedom struggle and a prominent political leader, Pant’s contributions to building the Indian Republic were significant, including his tenure as Home Minister.
      1958Dr Dhondo Keshav KarveA social reformer and educator, Karve dedicated his life to the empowerment of women through education, founding the first women’s university in India.
      1961Dr Bidhan Chandra RoyAn eminent physician, freedom fighter, and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Roy made noteworthy contributions to public health and education. 
      1961Purushottam Das TandonA freedom fighter and advocate for the Hindi language, Tandon played a significant role in the Indian independence movement and the promotion of Hindi as an official language of India.
      1962Dr Rajendra PrasadIndia’s first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad was a key leader in the Indian independence movement and the Constituent Assembly. His leadership and vision helped shape the Republic of India.
      1963Dr Zakir HusainA distinguished educator and India’s third President, Husain’s contribution to Indian education is celebrated. He established the National Muslim University, which came to be known as Jamia Millia Islamia.
      1963Dr Pandurang Vaman KaneA Sanskrit scholar and Indologist, Kane’s monumental work on the “History of Dharmasastra” is considered a critical contribution to Indian legal and cultural history.
      1966Lal Bahadur Shastri (Posthumous)India’s second Prime Minister, Shastri was known for his leadership during the India-Pakistan War of 1965, and his slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”, which resonated deeply with the Indian populace.
      1971Indira GandhiThe first and, to date, the only woman Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi’s leadership was marked by significant political and social changes.
      1975VV GiriAn advocate for labour rights and the fourth President of India, Giri’s contributions to Indian labour law and administration were significant.
      1976K Kamraj (Posthumous)A key figure in Indian politics and the Indian independence movement, Kamraj’s leadership in the Indian National Congress and his role in the “Kamaraj Plan” were instrumental in revitalising the party after Independence.
      1980Mother TeresaA symbol of compassion and service to the poor and the sick, Mother Teresa’s work through the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata brought her international acclaim.
      1983Acharya Vinoba BhaveA spiritual successor of Mahatma Gandhi and the initiator of the Bhoodan Movement, Bhave worked tirelessly for land reform and non-violent resistance.
      1987Khan Abdul Ghaffar KhanA close associate of Mahatma Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan was a Pashtun independence activist who opposed British rule through non-violent means. He was known as the “Frontier Gandhi”.
      1988MG Ramachandran (Posthumous)A film actor turned politician, MGR’s contributions to Tamil Nadu’s development and welfare schemes as chief minister left a lasting impact.
      1990Dr BR Ambedkar (Posthumous)Architect of the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar was a crusader for social justice, advocating for the rights of the marginalised and working towards the eradication of caste discrimination.
      1990Nelson MandelaSouth African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist, Mandela’s efforts to dismantle apartheid and foster racial reconciliation earned him global recognition.
      1991Rajiv Gandhi (Posthumous)The youngest Prime Minister of India, Gandhi’s tenure was marked by efforts towards leading India into the information age and significant economic and technological advancements.
      1991Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Posthumous)Known as the “Iron Man of India,” Patel played a crucial role in the country’s struggle for independence and the subsequent integration of princely states into the Indian Union.
      1991Morarji DesaiAn important leader in the Indian independence movement and the fourth Prime Minister of India, Desai was known as a leader who promoted peace and non-violence.
      1992Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Posthumous)A senior leader in the Indian independence movement and India’s first Minister of Education, Azad’s contribution to establishing an educational foundation in India is unparalleled.
      1992JRD TataAn aviator and industrialist, Tata founded India’s first airline and was a pioneer in the Indian aviation and industrial sector, leading the Tata Group to new heights.
      1992Satyajit RayAn acclaimed filmmaker, Ray’s contributions to Indian cinema are legendary, with his work receiving international recognition, including the Oscar, and shaping the narrative of Indian filmmaking.
      1997Gulzarilal NandaActing Prime Minister of India on two occasions, Nanda’s political career was marked by his dedication to labour issues and economic policies.
      1997Aruna Asaf AliA freedom fighter known for hoisting the Indian National Flag at the Bombay Gowalia Tank Maidan during the Quit India Movement, Ali was a prominent figure in India’s struggle for independence.
      1997Dr APJ Abdul KalamKnown as the “Missile Man of India”, Kalam’s work as a scientist and his presidency were marked by his commitment to education and inspiring the youth of India.
      1998MS SubbulakshmiA Carnatic vocalist, Subbulakshmi’s contributions to Indian classical music were profound, with her performances across the globe bringing Indian music to an international audience.
      1998Chidambaram SubramaniamKnown for his role in India’s Green Revolution, Subramaniam’s agricultural policies and initiatives significantly improved India’s food security and farming practices.
      1999Jayaprakash Narayan (Posthumous)A freedom fighter and political leader, Narayan was instrumental in the Indian independence movement and later in the fight against corruption through the “Total Revolution” movement.
      1999Professor Amartya SenA Nobel laureate in Economics, Sen’s work on welfare economics and social choice theory has had a profound impact on development economics worldwide.
      1999Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (Posthumous)A key figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Chief Minister of Assam, Bordoloi’s efforts were crucial in keeping Assam united with India.
      1999Pandit Ravi ShankarA virtuoso sitar player and composer, Shankar’s role in bringing Indian classical music to the global stage is unparalleled, influencing many musicians worldwide.
      2001Lata MangeshkarKnown as the “Nightingale of India”, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice has been iconic in Indian music. The legendary artiste recorded songs in over a thousand Hindi films and in various regional languages.
      2001Ustad Bismillah KhanA maestro of the shehnai, Khan’s music transcended cultural boundaries, making significant contributions to Indian classical music and bringing the shehnai to a global audience.
      2009Pandit Bhimsen JoshiA legendary figure in Indian classical music, Joshi’s renditions of khayal and bhajans have left an indelible mark on the genre, earning him widespread acclaim.
      2014Professor CNR RaoA renowned scientist and authority in solid-state and materials chemistry, Rao’s extensive research and publications have significantly contributed to the field of chemical science.
      2014Sachin TendulkarOne of the greatest cricketers of all time, Tendulkar’s records, including the most runs in international cricket, have made him a global sports icon.
      2015Atal Bihari VajpayeeA statesman and poet, Vajpayee’s tenure as the Prime Minister of India was marked by economic reforms and efforts towards improving India-Pakistan relations.
      2015Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (Posthumous)An educator and independence activist, Malaviya’s role in the establishment of Banaras Hindu University was pivotal in promoting higher education in India.
      2019Nanaji Deshmukh (Posthumous)A social activist and politician, Deshmukh’s contribution to rural development and education in India through various initiatives and institutions has been transformative.
      2019Dr. Bhupen Hazarika (Posthumous)A cultural icon in Assam and across India, Hazarika’s music and lyrics, reflecting social and political themes, have deeply influenced the cultural landscape.
      2019Pranab MukherjeeServing as the 13th President of India, Mukherjee’s distinguished career in Indian politics spanned several decades, contributing significantly to national development and governance.
      2024Karpoori Thakur (Posthumous)Thakur was a prominent political leader in Bihar, known for his dedication to social justice and empowerment of the underprivileged.  
      2024Lal Krishna AdvaniAdvani is a veteran Indian politician, playing a crucial role in Indian politics and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s growth.
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