As the highest civilian award in India, the Bharat Ratna was established in 1954, and it is awarded to individuals who have displayed exceptional public service and displayed exceptional performance in any field of human activity, such as literature, science, and the arts, and who have achieved the highest level of achievement in any of these fields. Anyone, regardless of occupation, gender, or position, is eligible to receive the Bharat Ratna award. A maximum of three people can be awarded the Bharat Ratna award per year, and this award is presented by the President of India. Until now, 16 people have been awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously.
Only three Bharat Ratna awards are given out each year. The Bharat Ratna cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name, according to the constitution. The awardee receives a sanad or certificate signed by the president, as well as a medal. The medal is shaped like a peepal leaf and is 5.8 cm long, 4.7 cm broad, and 3.1 mm thick. It is a bronze medal with an embossed picture of the sun in the centre that measures 1.6 cm in diameter. The state symbol and the country’s motto are inscribed in Devnagri script on the reverse side of the medal. In 1954, the inaugural Bharat Ratna award was given to politician C.Rajagopalachari, philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and physicist CV Raman.
In 1955, Dr. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad was awarded for his contributions in the field of education and national movement. In 1957, Dr. Govind Ballabh Pant was awarded for his contributions in the field of freedom movement and public service. In 1958, Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded for his contributions in the field of education and social service. In 1962, the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad was awarded the Bharat Ratna. In 1963, Dr. Zakir Hussain was awarded for his contributions in the field of education and public service. In 1971, Dr. V.V. Giri was awarded for his contributions in the field of public service. In 1975, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and Dr. Biswanath Das were awarded for their contributions in the field of public service. In 1976, Dr. K. Kamaraj was awarded for his contributions in the field of public service. In 1980, Mother Teresa was awarded for her contributions in the field of social service. In 1983, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and Dr. M. G. Ramachandran were awarded for their contributions in the field of education and public service.