The Indian Honour System, various awards are given by the India Government to citizens in recognition of their service or achievements in any field. Amongst these awards the “ Bharat Ratna” is the highest award. Since the time, the “Bharat Ratna” was instituted in the year 1954, 45 great sons and daughters of India have received this most prestigious honour.
Apart from the honour, recognition and respect that recipients of this award get there are also certain benefits and facilities that the awardees get for the rest of their life. However, Bharat Ratna is not a title and cannot be used as a suffix or prefix to the name of the recipient. The only way it can be added to the letterhead, visiting card or bio-data of the recipient is by writing “recipient of Bharat Ratna” or “awarded Bharat Ratna by the President of India”.
The highest civilian award in India, the Bharat Ratna is conferred on an India citizen without credence to caste, religion, sex, age or occupation. The Prime Minister suggests the nominees to the President of India who makes the final decision about who should get the awards for the particular year. No other nominations are required and a maximum of three nominees can be selected for the award in a year.
The Bharat Ratna Award
The recipient of the award gets a Medallion and a Certificate which is called “Sanad” in Hindi, which is signed by the President of India.
The medal is minted in the Government Mint in Kolkota. It is shaped like a Peepul leaf (leaf of the tree Ficus Religiosa), a tree native to India and strongly associated with Indian ethos. The Peepul Leaf is heart shaped and has a slender long tapering end. The medallion is 5.8 cms in length, 4.7 cms in width and 3.1 mms in thickness. It has the a sun with the words “Bharat Ratna” written in Devanagri script on one side and on the reverse the Emblem of India with the words “ Satyamev Jayate” written in Devanagri script. The sun, the State Emblem and the rim are made of platinum and the rest of the medallion is made of bronze. The cost of making this medallion, a miniature of this medallion and the box in which it is kept is supposed to be more than Rs. 2.5 lacs.
Benefits and Facilities
While there is no monetary benefit or grant that is associated with this award, there are a number of benefits and facilities that the recipients enjoy for the rest of their life.
The following Government dignitaries are State Guests of India:
- The President of India.
- The Vice-President of India.
- The Prime Minister of India.
- The Chief Justice of India.
- Governors of other states including
- Lieutenant Governor of Union Territories.
- The Ex-Presidents of India.
- The Ex-Vice Presidents of India.
- The Ex-Prime Ministers of India.
While travelling in India, the Bharat Ratna recipient is treated as a State Guest. A State Guest in India is given free transportation, lodging, boarding and reception while travelling within the country according to the rules. The immediate family (wife/husband and children) are also given these benefits at the expense of the State. Security is also given to the Awardees and personal aides such as driver, peon, and secretary are also provided by the State.
Indian Missions abroad will provide proper facilitation on their visits abroad & the awardee is entitled for diplomatic passport
When travelling abroad, Awardees are given “Diplomatic Passport” which allows them to easier immigration, right to use of VIP lounge etc. The Indian High Commissions and Embassies abroad offer all help during their trip.
Lifetime free executive class travel on Air India
Also, Air India, our national Air Carrier gives them free Executive Class travel for their whole life.
The Bharat Ratna Awardee is in position 7A in the “Table of Precedence” of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The order of precedence of Government Dignitaries such as president, Prime Minister, Governors, Cabinets Ministers , Judges etc. are given in this table for ceremonial occasions and State Functions. The Bharat Ratna Awardees are above Chief Ministers or Governors from outside states at position 7A.
The honour that is accorded and the respect that the Bharat Ratna Award brings to the recipient are above all the most important benefits that he/ she gets.
|Name||Birth / death||Awar- ded||Notes||State / Country|
|1.||Chakravarti Rajgopalachari||1878–1972||1954||Independence activist, last Governor-General||Tamil
|2.||C. V. Raman||1888–1970||1954||Physicist||Tamil
|3.||Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan||1888–1975||1954||Philosopher, second President||Andhra Pradesh|
|4.||Bhagwan Das||1869–1958||1955||Independence activist, author||Uttar Pradesh|
|5.||Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya||1861–1962||1955||Civil engineer, Diwan of Mysore||Karnataka|
|6.||Jawaharlal Nehru||1889–1964||1955||Independence activist, author, first Prime MinisterP||Uttar Pradesh|
|7.||Govind Ballabh Pant||1887–1961||1957||Independence activist, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister||Uttar Pradesh|
|8.||Dhondo Keshav Karve||1858–1962||1958||Educator, social reformer||Maha- rashtra|
|9.||Bidhan Chandra Roy||1882–1962||1961||Physician, Chief Minister of West Bengal||West Bengal|
|10.||Purushottam Das Tandon||1882–1962||1961||Independence activist, educator||Uttar Pradesh|
|11.||Rajendra Prasad||1884-1963||1962||Independence activist, jurist, first President||Bihar|
|12.||Zakir Hussain||1897–1969||1963||Scholar, third President||Andhra Pradesh|
|13.||Pandurang Vaman Kane||1880–1972||1963||Indologist and Sanskrit scholar||Maha- rashtra|
|14.||Lal Bahadur Shastri||1904–1966||1966||Posthumous, independence activist, second Prime Minister||Uttar Pradesh|
|15.||Indira Gandhi||1917–1984||1971||Third Prime Minister||Uttar Pradesh|
|16.||V. V. Giri||1894–1980||1975||Trade unionist and fourth President||orissa|
|17.||K. Kamaraj||1903–1975||1976||Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu State||Tamil
|18.||Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)||1910–1997||1980||Catholic nun, founder of the Missionaries of Charity||West Bengal / Albania|
|19.||Vinoba Bhave||1895–1982||1983||Posthumous, social reformer, independence activist||Maha- rashtra|
|20.||Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan||1890–1988||1987||First non-citizen, independence activist||Pakistan|
|21.||M. G. Ramachandran||1917–1987||1988||Posthumous, film actor, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu||Tamil
|22.||B. R. Ambedkar||1891–1956||1990||Posthumous, chief architect of the Indian Constitution, politician, economist, and scholar||Madhya Pradesh|
|23.||Nelson Mandela||b. 1918||1990||Second non-citizen and first non-Indian recipient, Leader of the Anti-Apartheid movement||south Africa|
|24.||Rajiv Gandhi||1944–1991||1991||Posthumous, Sixth Prime Minister||New Delhi|
|25.||Vallabhbhai Patel||1875–1950||1991||Posthumous, independence activist, first Home Minister||Maha- rashtra|
|26.||Morarji Desai||1896–1995||1991||Independence activist, fourth Prime Minister||New Delhi|
|27.||Abul Kalam Azad||1888–1958||1992||Posthumous, independence activist, first Minister of Education||Saudi Arabia|
|28.||J. R. D. Tata||1904–1993||1992||Industrialist and philanthropist||France|
|29.||Satyajit Ray||1922–1992||1992||Bengali filmmaker||west Bengal|
|30.||A. P. J. Abdul Kalam||b. 1931||1997||Aeronautical Engineer,11th President of India||Tamil
|31.||Gulzarilal Nanda||1898–1998||1997||Independence activist, interim Prime Minister||New Delhi|
|32.||Aruna Asaf Ali||1908–1996||1997||Posthumous, independence activist||Punjab|
|33.||M. S. Subbulakshmi||1916–2004||1998||Carnatic classical singer||Tamil
|34.||Chidambaram Subramaniam||1910–2000||1998||Independence activist, Minister of Agriculture||Tamil
|35.||Jayaprakash Narayan||1902–1979||1999||Posthumous, independence activist and politician||Bihar|
|36.||Pandit Ravi Shankar||1920-2012||1999||Sitar player||Uttar Pradesh|
|37.||Amartya Sen||b. 1933||1999||Economist, Nobel Laureate||West Bengal|
|38.||Gopinath Bordoloi||1890–1950||1999||Posthumous, independence activist, Chief Minister of Assam||Assam|
|39.||Lata Mangeshkar||b. 1929||2001||Playback singer||Madhya Pradesh|
|40.||Ustad Bismillah Khan||1916–2006||2001||Hindustani classical shehnaiplayer||Uttar Pradesh|
|41.||Pandit Bhimsen Joshi||1922–2011||2008||Hindustani classical singer||Karnataka|
Nelson Mandela 1990
Lal Bahadur Shastri 1966
K. Kamaraj 1976
Vinoba Bhave 1983
M. G. Ramachandran 1988
B. R. Ambedkar 1990
Rajiv Gandhi 1991
Vallabhbhai Patel 1991
Abul Kalam Azad 1992
Aruna Asaf Ali 1997
Jayaprakash Narayan 1999
Gopinath Bordoloi 1999