Bharat Ratna: India’s highest civilian honor

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“Bharat Ratna” is the highest civilian honor of India. This honor is bestowed on individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in various fields including art, literature, science, public services and social services. The award was instituted on 2 January 1954 by the President of India, Rajendra Prasad.

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Bharat Ratna Award List

Year Recipients About
 Bharat Ratna 1954 C. Rajagopalachari Activist, statesman, and lawyer
 Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan  India’s first Vice-President and second President
C. V. Raman Physicists, mathematicians, and scientists
 Bharat Ratna 1955 Bhagwan Das Activist, philosopher, and educationist
M. Visvesvaraya Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore
Jawaharlal Nehru Activist and author served as the Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1957 Govind Ballabh Pant Activist and first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
Bharat Ratna 1958 Dhondo Keshav Karve Social reformer and educator
Bharat Ratna 1961 Bidhan Chandra Roy Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker
Purushottam Das Tandon Activist and speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly
Bharat Ratna 1962 Rajendra Prasad Activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar
Bharat Ratna 1963 Zakir Husain Activist, economist, and education philosopher served as a Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
Pandurang Vaman Kane Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, known for his five-volume literary work
Bharat Ratna 1966 Lal Bahadur Shastri Activist and served as the second Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1971 Indira Gandhi  First women Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1975 V. V. Giri Trade Unionist
Bharat Ratna 1976 K. Kamaraj Independence activist and statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1980 Mother Teresa  Catholic nun and the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
1983 Vinoba Bhave  Activist, social reformer, and a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi
Bharat Ratna 1987 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan First noncitizen, independence activist
Bharat Ratna 1988 M. G. Ramachandran Actor turned politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Bharat Ratna 1990 B.R. Ambedkar Social reformer and leader of the Dalits
Nelson Mandela Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa
Bharat Ratna 1991 Rajiv Gandhi Gandhi was the ninth Prime Minister of India serving from 1984 to 1989.
Vallabhbhai Patel Activist and first Deputy Prime Minister of India
Morarji Desai Activist, and Prime Minister of India
Bharat Ratna 1992 Abul Kalam Azad Activist and first Minister of education
J. R. D. Tata Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
Satyajit Ray Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist
Bharat Ratna 1997 Gulzarilal Nanda Activist, and interim Prime Minister of India.
Aruna Asaf Ali Activist
A.P.J Abdul Kalam Aerospace and defense scientist
Bharat Ratna 1998 M. S. Subbulakshmi Carnatic classical vocalist
Chidambaram Subramaniam Activist and former Minister of Agriculture of India
Bharat Ratna 1999 Jayaprakash Narayan  Activist, and social reformer
Amartya Sen Economist
Gopinath Bordoloi Activist
Ravi Shankar Musician, sitar player
Bharat Ratna 2001 Lata Mangeshkar Singer
Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical shehnai player
Bharat Ratna 2009 Bhimsen Joshi Hindustani classical vocalist
Bharat Ratna 2014 C. N. R. Rao  Chemist and professor, author
Sachin Tendulkar Cricketer
Bharat Ratna 2015 Madan Mohan Malaviya Scholar and educational reformer.
Atal Bihari Bajpayee Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, and served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms.
Bharat Ratna 2019 Pranab Mukherjee Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
Nanaji Deshmukh A social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Bhupen Hazarika  Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.

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