Bharat Ratna Award List In India (1954 – 2024)

Bharat Ratna Award List

Last Updated: 13 February 2024

In India, the name of the highest Civilian Award is known as the Bharat Ratna Award, meaning Jewel of India.

The Award was first awarded in the year 1954 as a recognition of exceptional service or performance of the highest order. It was decided to be awarded without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex.

The order of precedence for the Civilian Awards:

  1. Bharat Ratna
  2. Padma Vibhushan
  3. Padma Bhushan
  4. Padma Shri

Before we see the list of Bharat Ratna Award list in India, let us first look at some of the important facts.

Facts About Bharat Ratna Award

  • Every year a maximum of 3 persons can be awarded the Bharat Ratna Award.
  • In December 2011 the Government expanded the criteria for the award to include “Any Field Of Human Endeavor”.
  • The Recommendations for the Award are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
  • Recipients receive a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion and a Certificate (Sanad) signed by the President of India.
  • A total number of 16 People were awarded after their death.
  • Sachin Tendulkar became the first youngest recipient to receive the Bharat Ratna Award at the age of 40.
  • Dhondo Keshav Karve was awarded the Bharat Ratna Award on his 100th birthday.
  • Two non-Indians received the Award.
  • Bharat Ratna Award was suspended from July 1977 to January 1980.
Indicates A Posthumous Honour
* Indicates Non-citizen Recipient
+ Indicates Naturalised Citizen Recipient

Bharat Ratna Award 1954 -1958


1C. RajagopalachariTamil Nadu1) Lawyer
2) Founder of the Indian Political Swatantra Party
2Sarvepalli RadhakrishnanTamil Nadu1) Philosopher
2) Second President of India
3C. V. RamanTamil Nadu1) Physicist
2) Worked in the field of Atomic Physics and Electromagnetism


1Bhagwan DasUttar Pradesh1) Philosopher
2) Worked with Madan Mohan Malaviya for the foundation of Banaras Hindu University
2M. VisvesvarayaKarnataka1) Civil engineer
2) His birthday (15 September) is observed as Engineer’s Day in India
3Jawaharlal NehruUttar PradeshFirst and the longest-serving Prime Minister of India (16 years 286 days)


1Govind Ballabh PantUttarakhandFirst Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (1950–54)


1Dhondo Keshav KarveMaharashtraWidely known for his works related to women’s education and the remarriage of Hindu widows

Related: List Of Padma Vibhushan Award Recipients (1954-2024)

Bharat Ratna Award 1961 -1966


1Bidhan Chandra RoyWest Bengal1) Physician
2) Mr. Roy’s birthday (1 July) is observed as National Doctors Day in India
2Purushottam Das TandonUttar PradeshInvolved in a campaign to get official language status to Hindi


1Rajendra PrasadBiharFirst President of India (13 May 1950–13 May 1962)


1Zakir HusainUttar PradeshThird President of India (13 May 1967–3 May 1969)
2Pandurang Vaman KaneMaharashtra1) Mr. Kane is an Ideologist and Sanskrit scholar
2) Best known for his five-volume literary work.
3) His book “Monumental” extends over nearly 6,500


1Lal Bahadur ShastriUttar Pradesh1) Known for his slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”
2) Second Prime Minister of India (9 Jun 1964 – 11 Jan 1966)

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Bharat Ratna Award 1971-1976


1Indira GandhiUttar Pradesh1) Known as the “Iron Lady of India”
2) Third Prime Minister of India (24 Jan 1966 – 24 Mar 1977)


1V. V. GiriOdisha1) First acting President
2) Fourth President of India (24 August 1969–24 August 1974)


1K. KamarajTamil NaduChief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms (1954–57, 1957–62, 1962–63)

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Bharat Ratna Award 1980-1988


1Mother Teresa+West Bengal (Born in Skopje)1) Catholic Nun
2) Founder of the Missionaries of Charity
3) Managed homes for people who were dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis


1Vinoba BhaveMaharashtra1) Best known for his Land-Gift Movement and Bhoodan movement
2) Bhave was given the honorific title Acharya (teacher)


1Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan*Pakistan1) Known as Frontier Gandhi
2) Founded Khudai Khidmatgar (Red Shirt movement) in 1929


1M. G. RamachandranTamil Nadu1) Mr. Ramachandran was an Actor
2) Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for three terms (1977–80, 1980–84, 1985–87)

Related: List Of Padma Bhushan Award Recipients (1954-2024)

Bharat Ratna Award 1990-1999


1B. R. AmbedkarMadhya Pradesh1) Chief architect of the Indian Constitution
2) First Law Minister of India
2Nelson Mandela*South Africa1) Mandela is often called the Gandhi of South Africa
2) First President of South Africa (1994–99)


1Rajiv GandhiUttar PradeshRajiv Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India (31 Oct 1984-2 Dec 1989)
2Vallabhbhai PatelGujaratMr. Patel is widely known as the “Iron Man of India”
3Morarji DesaiGujarat1) Fourth Prime Minister of India (24 Mar 1977-28 Jul 1979)
2) Awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan (highest civilian award of Pakistan)


1Abul Kalam AzadWest Bengal1) First Education Minister
2) Widely known as Maulana Azad
3) His birthday 11 Nov is observed as National Education Day
2J. R. D. TataMaharashtra1) Founder of India’s first airline Air India
2) Founder of Tata Memorial Hospital, TCS, etc
3Satyajit RayWest Bengal1) Director of Pather Panchali (1955)
2) Credited for bringing world recognition to Indian Cinema


1Gulzarilal NandaPunjabTwo times interim Prime Minister of India (1964, 1966) for 13 days each
2Aruna Asaf AliWest Bengal1) Known for hoisting the Indian flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement (1942)
2) Elected as Delhi’s first Mayor (1958)
3A. P. J. Abdul KalamTail Nadu1) Aerospace and Defence Scientist
2) Involved in the development of India’s first satellite vehicle SLV III
3) 11th President of India (25 July 2002-25 July 2007)


1M. S. SubbulakshmiTamil NaduSubbulakshmi is known for her divine voice & often hailed as the “Queen of songs”
2Chidambaram SubramaniamTamil Nadu1) Known for his contribution towards the Green Revolution in India
2) Former Minister of Agriculture (1964–66)


1Jayaprakash NarayanBihar1) Known as Loknayak (People’s Leader)
2) Known for Total Revolution Movement
2Amartya SenWest BengalResearch on ethics and political philosophy, development economics, etc
3Gopinath BordoloiAssamFirst Chief Minister of Assam
4Ravi ShankarWest Bengal1) Known as Loknayak (People’s Leader)
2) Known for the Total Revolution Movement

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Bharat Ratna Award 2001-2009


1Lata MangeshkarMaharashtra1) Credited as the Nightingale of India
2) She started her career in the 1940s and has sung songs in over 36 languages
2Bismillah KhanBihar1) Hindustani Classical Shehnai Player
2) Played an instrument for more than eight decades


1Bhimsen JoshiKarnataka1) Hindustani classical vocalist
2) Widely known for singing with accurate notes and mastery over rhythm

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Bharat Ratna Award 2014-2019


1C. N. R. RaoKarnataka1) Recipient of Honorary Doctorates from 63 Universities
2) He worked in the fields of Materials Chemistry, Solid State, Spectroscopy.
2Sachin TendulkarMaharashtra1) Played 664 international Cricket matches in two decades
2) Holds record for scoring 100 international centuries
3) 30,000 runs in both ODI and Test Cricket


1Madan Mohan MalaviyaUttar Pradesh1) Founder of Banaras Hindu University
2) Served as the President of INC for 4 terms
2Atal Bihari VajpayeeMadhya Pradesh1) Elected twice to the Rajya Sabha, 9 times to the Lok Sabha
2) Prime Minister of India for three terms (1996, 1998, 1999–2004)


1Pranab MukherjeeWest Bengal1) 13th President of India from 2012-2017
2) Union Finance Minister from 2009-2012
2Bhupen HazarikaAssam1) Indian Playback Singer from Assam known as Sudhakantha
2) His songs in the Assamese language have been translated & sung in many languages
3Nanaji DeshmukhMaharashtra1) Worked in the fields of health, education, and rural self-reliance
2) Member of the Rajya Sabha and leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh


1Karpoori ThakurBihar1) Thakur was a politician, who served two terms as the 11th Chief Minister of Bihar, from 1970 to 1971, and from 1977 to 1979.
2) In 1978, he introduced the reservation policy in state government jobs.
2L. K. AdvaniDelhi1) Advani is a politician who served as the 7th Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004.
2) He is one of the co-founders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and is credited with scripting the rise of the BJP as a major political force through the Ram Janmabhoomi Movement.
3) He was popularly known as “Loh Purush” [Iron Man].
3P. V. Narasimha RaoTelangana1) Narasimha Rao, was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th prime minister from 1991 to 1996.
2) He was the first Prime Minister from South India.
3) He is known for introducing various liberal reforms to India’s economy.
4Charan SinghUttar Pradesh1) Charan Singh was an Indian politician and an independence activist who served as the 5th prime minister from 1979 to 1980.
2) He is known as the “Champion of India’s Peasants”.
3) He was the founder of the political party Lokdal in 1980.
5M. S. SwaminathanTamil Nadu1) Swaminathan was an Indian agronomist, geneticist, and administrator, who was a global leader of the green revolution.
2) He was one of the major architects of the green revolution in India known for his leadership and role in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice.

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