Bharat Ratna Award Winners List from 1954 to 2024

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The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award, established in 1954. It is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional public service and achieved the highest level of excellence in various fields such as literature, science, and art.
The Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award, established on January 2, 1954. It is bestowed upon individuals for their exceptional and highest-level service to any field, and it is presented by the President of India. In a single year, a maximum of three awards can be given, without regard to race, occupation, position, or gender. The inaugural recipients of this honor in 1954 were politician C. Rajagopalachari, philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and scientist CV Raman.

Bharat Ratna

It’s worth noting that Bharat Ratna awardees receive certain privileges, including a diplomatic passport, access to a separate immigration counter, and VIP lounge access at airports. Below, we provide a comprehensive list of Bharat Ratna awardees since its inception in 1954.

Bharat Ratna Award Winners Name

The Bharat Ratna award is a prestigious honor, and only three individuals can receive it in a single year. As per the constitution, recipients are not allowed to use “Bharat Ratna” as a prefix or suffix to their name. The award includes a certificate signed by the President of India and a medal.
The medal is shaped like a peepal leaf, measuring 5.8 cm in length, 4.7 cm in width, and 3.1 mm in thickness. It is made of bronze and features an embossed image of the sun at its center, measuring 1.6 cm in diameter. On the reverse side of the medal, you’ll find the state emblem and the nation’s motto, both inscribed in Devnagri script.

Bharat Ratna Award Winners Name List

YearRecipientsAbout
 1954C. RajagopalachariActivist
statesman,and lawyer
 Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan India’s first Vice-President and second President
C. V. RamanPhysicists
mathematicians, and scientists
 Bharat Ratna 1955Bhagwan DasActivist
philosopher, and educationist
M. VisvesvarayaCivil engineer
statesman, and Diwan of Mysore
Jawaharlal NehruActivist and author served as the Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1957Govind Ballabh PantActivist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Ratna 1958Dhondo Keshav KarveSocial reformer and educator
Bharat Ratna 1961Bidhan Chandra RoyPhysician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker
Purushottam Das TandonActivist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly
Bharat Ratna 1962Rajendra PrasadActivist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar
Bharat Ratna 1963Zakir HusainActivist, economist, and education philosopher served as a Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
Pandurang Vaman KaneIndologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work
Bharat Ratna 1966Lal Bahadur ShastriActivist and served as the second Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1971Indira Gandhi First women Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1975V. V. GiriTrade Unionist
Bharat Ratna 1976K. KamarajIndependence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1980Mother Teresa Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
1983Vinoba Bhave Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
Bharat Ratna 1987Khan Abdul Ghaffar KhanFirst noncitizen, independence activist
Bharat Ratna 1988M. G. RamachandranActor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1990B.R. AmbedkarSocial reformer and leader of the Dalits
Nelson MandelaLeader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa
Bharat Ratna 1991Rajiv GandhiGandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.
Vallabhbhai PatelActivist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India
Morarji DesaiActivist, and Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1992Abul Kalam AzadActivist and first Minister of education
J. R. D. TataIndustrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
Satyajit RayDirector, filmmaker, writer, novelist
Bharat Ratna 1997Gulzarilal NandaActivist, and interim Prime Minister of India.
Aruna Asaf AliActivist
A.P.J Abdul KalamAerospace and defense scientist
Bharat Ratna 1998M. S. SubbulakshmiCarnatic classical vocalist
Chidambaram SubramaniamActivist and former Minister of Agriculture of India
Bharat Ratna 1999Jayaprakash Narayan Activist, and social reformer
Amartya SenEconomist
Gopinath BordoloiActivist
Ravi ShankarMusician, sitar player
Bharat Ratna 2001Lata MangeshkarSinger
Bismillah KhanHindustani classical shehnai player
Bharat Ratna 2009Bhimsen JoshiHindustani classical vocalist
Bharat Ratna 2014C. N. R. Rao Chemist and professor, author
Sachin TendulkarCricketer
Bharat Ratna 2015Madan Mohan MalaviyaScholar and educational reformer.
Atal Bihari BajpayeeElected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms.
Bharat Ratna 2019Pranab MukherjeeIndian politician
and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
Nanaji DeshmukhA social activist from India
education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Bhupen Hazarika Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician
singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.

First Recipient of Bharat Ratna Awards

  1. C. Rajagopalachari: A distinguished politician, independence activist, and the last Governor-General of India. He played a pivotal role in the Indian freedom struggle.
  2. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: A renowned philosopher, teacher, and statesman who served as the first Vice President and second President of India. He made significant contributions to the fields of philosophy and education.
  3. C.V. Raman: A celebrated physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his groundbreaking work on the scattering of light. His research had a profound impact on the field of science.

In total, 48 individuals have been honored with the Bharat Ratna award, with 16 of them receiving it posthumously. This esteemed award recognizes their exceptional contributions to society in various domains. Below is a list of these distinguished individuals and their notable contributions.

  1. The recipients of the Bharat Ratna award for the year 2019 were social activist Nanaji Deshmukh, politician and former President of India Pranab Mukherjee, and Indian playback singer, lyricist, poet, filmmaker, and musician Bhupen Hazarika.
  2. In a year, a maximum of three Bharat Ratna awards can be given to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional public service in society.
  3. The first posthumous recipient of the Bharat Ratna award was former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was also a noted social activist.
  4. The Bharat Ratna Award was introduced in the year 1954.
  5. The first-ever Bharat Ratna Award was received by C.V. Raman for his significant contributions to the field of science.

Youngest Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award

Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest Indian cricketers of all time, holds the distinction of being the youngest recipient of the Bharat Ratna award in India. He was honored with this prestigious award in the year 2014 when he was 40 years old. Sachin Tendulkar’s remarkable contributions to the world of cricket have solidified his status as a legendary figure in the history of the sport.

Oldest Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award

Dhondo Keshav Karve holds the distinction of being the oldest recipient of the Bharat Ratna Award. A renowned social reformer, he received this prestigious honor on his 100th birthday in 1958. His dedicated efforts in the field of social reform and education made him a deserving recipient of the Bharat Ratna.

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