Bharat Ratna Award List In India (1954-2021)

Bharat Ratna Award List

Last Updated: 2 August 2021

In India, the name of the highest Civilian Award is known as the Bharat Ratna Award, meaning Jewel of India.

Bharat Ratna Award was first awarded in the year 1954 as a recognition of exceptional service or performance of the highest order. It was decided to be awarded without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.

The order of precedence for the Civilian Awards:

  1. Bharat Ratna
  2. Padma Vibhushan
  3. Padma Bhushan
  4. Padma Shri

Before we see the list of Bharat Ratna Award list in India, let us first look at some of the important facts.

Facts About Bharat Ratna Award

  • Every year a maximum of 3 persons can be awarded the Bharat Ratna Award.
  • In December 2011 the Government expanded the criteria for the award to include “Any Field Of Human Endeavor”.
  • The Recommendations for the Award are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
  • Recipients receive a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion and a Certificate (Sanad) signed by the President of India.
  • A total number of 16 People were awarded after their death.
  • Sachin Tendulkar became the first youngest recipient to receive the Bharat Ratna Award at the age of 40.
  • Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded the Bharat Ratna Award on his 100th birthday.
  • Two non-Indians received the Bharat Ratna Award.
  • Bharat Ratna Award was suspended from July 1977 to January 1980.

Bharat Ratna Award 1954

First Recipients Of The Bharat Ratna Award
1C. RajagopalachariTamil Nadu1) Lawyer
2) Founder of the Indian Political Swatantra Party
2Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanTamil Nadu1) Philosopher
2) Second President of India
3C. V. RamanTamil Nadu1) Physicist
2) Worked in the field of Atomic Physics and Electromagnetism

Bharat Ratna Award 1955

1Bhagwan DasUttar Pradesh1) Philosopher
2) Worked with Madan Mohan Malaviya for the foundation of Banaras Hindu University
2M. VisvesvarayaKarnataka1) Civil engineer
2) His birthday (15 September) is observed as Engineer’s Day in India
3Jawaharlal NehruUttar PradeshFirst and the longest-serving Prime Minister of India (16 years 286 days)

Bharat Ratna Award 1957

1Govind Ballabh PantUttarakhandFirst Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (1950–54)

Related: List Of Padma Vibhushan Award Recipients (1954-2021)

Bharat Ratna Award 1958

1Dhondo Keshav KarveMaharashtraWidely known for his works related to women education and remarriage of Hindu widows

Bharat Ratna Award 1961

1Bidhan Chandra RoyWest Bengal1) Physician
2) Mr. Roy’s birthday (1 July) is observed as National Doctors Day in India
2Purushottam Das TandonUttar PradeshInvolved in a campaign to get official language status to Hindi

Bharat Ratna Award 1962

1Rajendra PrasadBiharFirst President of India (13 May 1950–13 May 1962)

Bharat Ratna Award 1963

1Zakir HusainUttar PradeshThird President of India (13 May 1967–3 May 1969)
2Pandurang Vaman KaneMaharashtra1) Mr. Kane is an Ideologist and Sanskrit scholar
2) Best known for his five-volume literary work.
3) His book “Monumental” extends over nearly 6,500

Bharat Ratna Award 1966

1Lal Bahadur ShastriUttar Pradesh1) Known for his slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”
2) Second Prime Minister of India (9 Jun 1964 – 11 Jan 1966)

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Bharat Ratna Award 1971

1Indira GandhiUttar Pradesh1) Known as the “Iron Lady of India”
2) Third Prime Minister of India (24 Jan 1966 – 24 Mar 1977)

Bharat Ratna Award 1975

1V. V. GiriOdisha1) First acting President
2) Fourth President of India (24 August 1969–24 August 1974)

Bharat Ratna Award 1976

1K. KamarajTamil NaduChief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms (1954–57, 1957–62, 1962–63)

Bharat Ratna Award 1980

1Mother TeresaWest Bengal (Born in Skopje)1) Catholic Nun
2) Founder of the Missionaries of Charity
3) Managed homes for people who were dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis

Bharat Ratna Award 1983

1Vinoba BhaveMaharashtra1) Best known for his Land-Gift Movement and Bhoodan movement
2) Bhave was given the honorific title Acharya (teacher)

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Bharat Ratna Award 1987

1Khan Abdul Ghaffar KhanPakistan1) Known as Frontier Gandhi
2) Founded Khudai Khidmatgar (Red Shirt movement) in 1929

Bharat Ratna Award 1988

1M. G. RamachandranTamil Nadu1) Mr. Ramachandran was an Actor
2) Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms (1977–80, 1980–84, 1985–87)

Bharat Ratna Award 1990

1B. R. AmbedkarMadhya Pradesh1) Chief architect of the Indian Constitution
2) First Law Minister of India
2Nelson MandelaSouth Africa1) Mandela is often called the Gandhi of South Africa
2) First President of South Africa (1994–99)

Bharat Ratna Award 1991

1Rajiv GandhiUttar PradeshRajiv Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India (31 Oct 1984-2 Dec 1989)
2Vallabhbhai PatelGujaratMr. Patel is widely known as the “Iron Man of India”
3Morarji DesaiGujarat1) Fourth Prime Minister of India (24 Mar 1977-28 Jul 1979)
2) Awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan (highest civilian award of Pakistan)

Bharat Ratna Award 1992

1Abul Kalam AzadWest Bengal1) First Education Minister
2) Widely known as Maulana Azad
3) His birthday 11 Nov is observed as National Education Day
2J. R. D. TataMaharashtra1) Founder of India’s first airline Air India
2) Founder of Tata Memorial Hospital, TCS, etc
3Satyajit RayWest Bengal1) Director of Pather Panchali (1955)
2) Credited for bringing world recognition to Indian Cinema

Bharat Ratna Award 1997

1Gulzarilal NandaPunjabTwo times interim Prime Minister of India (1964, 1966) for 13 days each
2Aruna Asaf AliWest Bengal1) Known for hoisting the Indian flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement (1942)
2) Elected as Delhi’s first Mayor (1958)
3A. P. J. Abdul KalamTail Nadu1) Aerospace and Defence Scientist
2) Involved in the development of India’s first satellite vehicle SLV III
3) 11th President of India (25 July 2002-25 July 2007)

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Bharat Ratna Award 1998

1M. S. SubbulakshmiTamil NaduSubbulakshmi is known for her divine voice & often hailed as the “Queen of songs”
2Chidambaram SubramaniamTamil Nadu1) Known for his contribution towards the Green Revolution in India
2) Former Minister of Agriculture (1964–66)

Bharat Ratna Award 1999

1Jayaprakash NarayanBihar1) Known as Loknayak (People’s Leader)
2) Known for Total Revolution Movement
2Amartya SenWest BengalResearch on ethics and political philosophy, development economics, etc
3Gopinath BordoloiAssamFirst Chief Minister of Assam
4Ravi ShankarWest Bengal1) Winner of four Grammy Awards
2) Considered as the World’s best-known exponent of Hindustani Classical Music

Bharat Ratna Award 2001

1Lata MangeshkarMaharashtra1) Credited as the Nightingale of India
2) She started her career in the 1940s and has sung songs in over 36 languages
2Bismillah KhanBihar1) Hindustani Classical Shehnai Player
2) Played instrument for more than eight decades

Bharat Ratna Award 2009

1Bhimsen JoshiKarnataka1) Hindustani classical vocalist
2) Widely known for singing with accurate notes and mastery over rhythm

Bharat Ratna Award 2014

1C. N. R. RaoKarnataka1) Recipient of Honorary Doctorates from 63 Universities
2) He worked in the fields of Materials Chemistry, Solid State, Spectroscopy.
2Sachin TendulkarMaharashtra1) Played 664 international Cricket matches in two decades
2) Holds record for scoring 100 international centuries
3) 30,000 runs in both ODI and Test Cricket

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Bharat Ratna Award 2015

1Madan Mohan MalaviyaUttar Pradesh1) Founder of Banaras Hindu University
2) Served as the President of INC for 4 terms
2Atal Bihari VajpayeeMadhya Pradesh1) Elected twice to the Rajya Sabha, 9 times to the Lok Sabha
2) Prime Minister of India for three terms (1996, 1998, 1999–2004)

Bharat Ratna Award 2019

1Pranab MukherjeeWest Bengal1) 13th President of India from 2012-2017
2) Union Finance Minister from 2009-2012
2Bhupen HazarikaAssam1) Indian Playback Singer from Assam known as Sudhakantha
2) His songs in the Assamese language have been translated & sung in many languages
3Nanaji DeshmukhMaharashtra1) Worked in the fields of health, education, and rural self-reliance
2) Member of the Rajya Sabha and leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh
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