Bharat Ratna Award 

Bharat Ratna Award Winners List: The Bharat Ratna Award is the highest civilian honor in India and was started in 1954. It is awarded to those people who work exceptionally for public service, or the highest performance in the field of literature, science, art, or any human endeavor. A maximum of three persons can be the recipients of this prestigious award in a single year. There is no discrimination or distinction of any caste, creed, occupation, religion, language, sex, etc. while nominating the recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. Here we provide the list of all winners of the Bharat Ratna Award from 1954 to 2022. We give you some key notes related to the contribution of awardees of the Bharat Ratna Award. 

Bharat Ratna Award List 

The recommendations for the Bharat Ratna award are given by the Prime Minister of India. It is awarded by the President of India. Till now, 48 eminent persons have been awarded Bharat Ratna Award. It is also presented to people posthumously and as of now, 14 eminent persons have been awarded posthumously. Under Article 18 (1) of the Indian Constitution, no title whether military or academic distinctions shall be conferred by the state, and awards like Bharat Ratna can’t be used as suffixes or prefixes to the name of awardees. There are no monetary grants linked with this award. The awardees receive a Certificate/ Sanad signed by the contemporary president of India and a peepal- leaf shaped medal. On this medallion, the state emblem of India with Satyamev Jayate is inscribed. 

Bharat Ratna Award Winners List

There are many stories related to the Bharat Ratna Award nomination such as the Government of India decided to present this award posthumously to Subhash Chandra Bose in 1992 but his family members and supporters did not allow this as they did not believe in his death. Many times in the past, the name of Major Dhyanchand (Magician of Hockey) is raised for presenting him the Bharat Ratna Award but he has not been awarded yet. The complete list of the recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award is given below. Here * indicates the posthumous recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award.

Recipients (State/UT)Year    Key Notes
C. Rajagopalachari/ Rajaji (Tamil Nadu)1954He was the last Governor General of India. He was the founder of the Swatantra Party. He was the conscience keeper of MK Gandhi.
Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (Tamil Nadu)1954He was the first Vice President of India. He became the country's second President
C. V. Raman (Tamil Nadu)1954He became the first Asian scientist to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of science. He is famous for his discoveries in physics like Raman Scattering.
Bhagwan Das (Uttar Pradesh)1955He was the co-founder of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith. He also contributed to the foundation of Banaras Hindu University. 
M. Visvesvaraya (Karnataka)1955His birth anniversary on 15th September is celebrated as Engineer’s Day in the country. He was a civil engineer who contributed much to the country's dam development.
Jawaharlal Nehru (Uttar Pradesh)1955He became the first and longest tenure Prime Minister (PM) of India. He was PM at the time of receiving this award.
Govind Ballabh Pant (Uttarakhand)1957He was elected to be the first chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was an ardent supporter of making Hindi a national language.
Dhondo Keshav Karve (Maharashtra)1958He was a great social reformer and was famous for women's education, and widow remarriage. He founded the Widow Marriage Association.
Bidhan Chandra Roy (West Bengal)1961He is recognized as the Maker of Modern West Bengal. His birth anniversary on 1st July is celebrated as National Doctors’ Day in the country. 
Purushottam Das Tandon (Uttar Pradesh)1961He was titled Rajarshi. He became the speaker in Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly. He supported the Hindi language making it the official language.
Rajendra Prasad (Bihar)1962He swore as the first President of India. He was actively involved in the non-cooperation movement with Mahatma Gandhi Ji
Zakir Husain (Andhra Pradesh)1963He was elected to be the second Vice President and third President of India. He became the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.
Pandurang Vaman Kane (Maharashtra)1963He was a great Indologist and Sanskrit scholar. He is well known for his works like ‘History of Dharmasastra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Laws in India’.
Lal Bahadur Shastri (Uttar Pradesh) *1966He became the first posthumous recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. He was elected to be the second PM of India. He is popular in country for his slogan ‘Jai Jawan Jai Kisan’.
Indira Gandhi (Uttar Pradesh)1971She was the first female recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. She was PM during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. She was PM of India at the time of receiving this award.
V. V. Giri (Odisha)1975He served as the first acting President of India. He became the 4th President of India. He organized many trade unions for the freedom struggle. 
K. Kamaraj (Tamil Nadu) *1976He was recognized as the King Maker in Indian Political History as he contributed much to making Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi the PM of India.
Mother Teresa (West Bengal, born in North Macedonia)1980She is the first and only naturalized citizen of India who received the Bharat Ratna Award. She was the founder of Catholics Missionaries of Charity. She was also Nobel Laureate for her humanitarian works
Vinoba Bhave (Maharashtra) *1983He was a great follower of Gandhism. He is well known for his Bhoodan Movement in the country. He received Ramon Magsaysay Award for his humanitarian works.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Pakistan) 1987He became the first non-citizen recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. He was also known as Frontier Gandhi. He was the founder of the Red Shirt Movement (Khudai Khidmatgar).
M. G. Ramachandran (Tamil Nadu) *1988He was the first actor who became the recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award and the chief minister of any state. He was the founder of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
B.R. Ambedkar (Maharashtra) *1990He is recognized as the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. He became the first Law Minister of the country. He vehemently criticized the caste system in Hinduism.
Nelson Mandela (South Africa)1990He is recognized as the Gandhi of South Africa. He became the second non-citizen recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. He received Nobel Peace Prize also.
Rajiv Gandhi (Uttar Pradesh) *1991He was elected to be the sixth PM of India. He became the youngest PM of India in 1984 at the age of 40 years. During his tenure as PM, landmark laws were passed like the Anti-defection law in 1985.  
Vallabhbhai Patel (Gujarat) *1991He is recognized as the Iron Man of India. He served as the first Deputy Prime Minister of the country. He played an important role in Bardoli Satyagraha, modern-based All India Services.
Morarji Desai (Gujarat)1991He is the sole national of India to be awarded the highest civilian honor of Pakistan the Nishan-e-Pakistan. He was elected to be the first non-congress PM of India. He was the oldest PM.
Abul Kalam Azad (West Bengal) *1992He was the first Education Minister of India. He is popularly known as Maulana Azad. His birth anniversary on 11th November is celebrated as National Education Day in the country.
J. R. D. Tata (Maharashtra)1992He was an industrialist and aviation pioneer in India. He started the country’s first airline named Air India. He established many institutes like Tate Institute of Fundamental Research, TCS, Tate Motors, etc. 
Satyajit Ray (West Bengal)1992He is credited to bring Indian Cinema to world recognition. His first film as director was Pather Panchali in 1955. He was awarded the country’s highest cinema award named Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Gulzarilal Nanda (Punjab)1997He served two times as the interim PM of India and two times as the deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission. He raised the labor issues on a national platform.
Aruna Asaf Ali (West Bengal) *1997She became the first Mayor of Delhi in the post-independence period. She was actively involved in the Quit India Movement in 1942.
A.P.J Abdul Kalam (Tamil Nadu)1997He is recognized as the Missile Man of India. He contributed to the development of launch vehicle technology, ballistic missiles, etc. He became the country’s 11th President. His major works include Wings of Fire, Ignited Minds, India 2020, etc.
M. S. Subbulakshmi (Tamil Nadu)1998She was a classical vocalist in Carnatic music. She is recognized as the Queen of Songs. She became the first musician of India to be awarded the Ramon Magsaysay for her public charity works.
Chidambaram Subramaniam (Tamil Nadu)1998He is well known for his contribution to Green Revolution in India. He contributed to the International Rice Research Institute of Manila, Philippines
Jayaprakash Narayan (Bihar) *1999He is recognized as the Loknayak (People’s Leader). He launched the Total Revolution Movement/ JP Movement against the congress government. 
Amartya Sen (West Bengal)1999He is Nobel Laureate in Economic Science. He contributed to welfare economics, social justice in economics, social choice theory, etc.
Gopinath Bordoloi (Assam) *1999He was elected to be the first chief minister of Assam. He is recognized as the Lokapriya in Assam for his dedication to Assam’s development. 
Ravi Shankar (Uttar Pradesh)1999He is recognized as the world’s best exponent of Hindustani Classical Music. He also received the Grammy Award.
Lata Mangeshkar (Maharashtra)2001She is recognized as the Nightingale of India, Voice of Millennium, and Queen of Melody. She was awarded the country’s highest cinema award Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Bismillah Khan (Uttar Pradesh)2001He is a celebrated classical shehnai player. He is credited to highlight the shehnai instrument in Indian music. He became the third classical musician who received the Bharat Ratna Award
Bhimsen Joshi (Karnataka)2009He was a great exponent of Hindustani classical music. He was a disciple of recognized Kirana Gharana. He was well known for his Khyal genre of singing style.   
C. N. R. Rao (Karnataka)2014He is an eminent chemist who contributed much to solid-state and structural chemistry. He received many awards like Marlow Medal, Hughes Medal, Royal Medal, India Science Award, etc.
Sachin Tendulkar (Maharashtra)2014He is recognized as the Master Blaster in cricket history. He debuted in the international cricket match at the age of 16 years. He is the only batsman to score more than 30,000 runs in entire forms of international cricket matches
Madan Mohan Malaviya (Uttar Pradesh) *2015He was the founder of the Banaras Hindu University and Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha. He is recognized as the Mahamana.  
Atal Bihari Bajpayee (Madhya Pradesh)2015He was elected to be PM of India three times. He was also awarded the best parliamentarian award in 1994. He was also a great poet.
Pranab Mukherjee (West Bengal)2019He was elected to be the 13th President of India and 14th & 15th Leader of the Lok Sabha. In 2020, he died due to COVID-19.
Nanaji Deshmukh (Maharashtra) *2019His real name was Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh. He contributed to education, rural self-reliance, and health. He served as the leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Bhupen Hazarika (Assam) *2019He is recognized as the Sudhakantha (Nectar-throated). He was an eminent filmmaker, poet, lyricist, playback singer, and musician.

First Three Bharat Ratna Award Winners

The Bharat Ratna Awards were distributed in 1954 first time. The first three Bharat Ratna award winners were C Rajagopalachari, CV Raman, and S Radhakrishnan. All three winners were from Tamil Nadu. C. Rajagopalachari was an Activist, statesman, and lawyer. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was India’s first Vice-President and second President. C. V. Raman was a Physicist, mathematician, and scientist. He is famous for his discoveries in physics like Raman Scattering and became the first Asian scientist to receive a Nobel Prize in any branch of science.

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Bharat Ratna Award List- FAQ's

Ans. The first recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award were C Rajagopalachari, CV Raman, and S Radhakrishnan in 1954. Interestingly all first recipients were from the state of Tamil Nadu.

Ans. The youngest recipient of the Bharat Ratna award is Sachin Tendulkar who was awarded in 2014.

The first three recipients of Bharat Ratna were C Rajagopalachari, CV Raman, and S Radhakrishnan. All there was awarded with the Bharat Ratna award in 1954.

Ans. The latest recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award are Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh, and Bhupen Hazarika who were awarded in 2019.

Ans. The total number of recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award is 48 as of now.

Ans. The first posthumous recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award was Lal Bhadur Shastri in 1966.

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