Bharat Ratna Award: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - February - 2015

Bharat Ratna Award

Throughout the history of India, we have seen lot of exceptionally brave and talented persons who have graced the Indian soil. Bharat Ratna Award is one medium to provide proper recognition to the sacrifices and talents of those individuals. Bharat Ratna is a highest civilian award which a person can recieve in India. There is no restriction of awarding the award only to citizen and in past foreigners have also recieved this award. The provision of Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was the first ever Indian to be graced by this highest award. Since then various internationally and nationally recognized personalities have received this award. Important personalities who have received this award are C Rajagopalachari (awardee: 1954), CV Raman (awardee: 1954), S Radhakrishnan (awardee: 1954,), Bhagwan Das (awardee: 1955), Visvessaraya (awardee: 1955), Govind Ballabh Pant (awardee: 1957), DK Karve (awardee: 1958), BC Roy (awardee: 19612), Purshottam Das Tandon (awardee: 1961), Rajendra Prasad (awardee: 1962), Zakir Hussain (awardee: 1963) and PV Kane (awardee: 1963). This award is given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. Certain criteria’s are followed for this award:-

  • Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for these awards.
  • It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.
  • The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister himself to the President. No formal recommendations for this are necessary.
  • The number of annual awards is restricted to a maximum of three in a particular year.
  • In terms of Article 18 (1) of the Constitution, the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name. However award winner may use the following expression ‘Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President’ or ‘Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award’.
  • The Award does not carry any monetary grant.

This year’s Bharat Ratna award has been given to Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya (posthumously) and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The announcement to give them award was made on the birthday of both the stalwarts. Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya was a freedom fighter and educationalist and social activist. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was hindu nationalist within the Indian national congress. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya was an important personality in the Non-Cooperation Movement, he even participated in the First Round Table Conference. Malaviya ji will always be remembered for his contribution in formation of Banaras Hindu University. He along with Annie Besant led the foundation of this temple of education in 1916. Pandit Malviya will be the 12th person to be honoured posthumously. Some believe that Bharat Ratna should not be awarded posthumously.

Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was prime minister of the nation between 1998 and 2004. He is credited with many national achievements like Pokhran test and laying the foundation for making India sufficient in nuclear energy. He is also credited with building a good quality road network in the country. Mr. Vajpayee will be the seventh Prime Minister to receive the award. Former Prime Ministers who have received the award are Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, along with first Governor General of free India C. Rajagopalachari.

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