Bharat Ratna: India’s Highest Civilian Award


11:09 AM

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Bharat Ratna: India’s Highest Civilian Award Blog Image

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in the News?
  • About Bharat Ratna
  • News Summary

Why in the News?

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that former Prime Ministers PV Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, alongside agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan, will be conferred the Bharat Ratna.

About Bharat Ratna

  • The Bharat Ratna Award is the highest civilian award in India.
  • Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is conferred in recognition of "exceptional service/performance of the highest order".
  • It is bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the nation in various fields, such as arts, literature, science, and public service.
    • However, the Government, in 2011, expanded the criteria to include "any field of human endeavour".
  • The recommendations for the award are made by the Prime Minister to the President.
  • The recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal leaf-shaped medallion with no monetary grant associated with the award.
  • Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.
  • There is no formal provision that recipients of the Bharat Ratna should be Indian citizens.
  • It has been conferred on one naturalized citizen, Mother Teresa, and on two non-Indians: Abdul Ghaffar Khan (born in British India and later a citizen of Pakistan) and Nelson Mandela, a citizen of South Africa.

News Summary

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced names of 3 new recipients of the Bharat Ratna award, praising their contributions to the nation.
    • This brings the total number of recipients of Bharat Ratna award to 53.
  • The 3 new recipients of the awards are:
  • Late P V Narasimha Rao:
    • Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao, popularly known as P. V. Narasimha Rao, was an Indian lawyer and politician who served as the 9th prime minister of India from 1991 to 1996.
    • He is known for introducing various liberal reforms to India's economy.
  • Late Chaudhary Charan Singh:
    • Chaudhary Charan Singh was an Indian politician and a freedom fighter.
    • He served as the 5th prime minister of India and 5th Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
    • He followed Mahatma Gandhi in non-violent struggle for independence from the British Government, and was imprisoned several times.
  • Late M. S. Swaminathan:
    • Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan was an Indian agronomist, agricultural scientist, plant geneticist, administrator, and humanitarian.
    • Swaminathan was a global leader of the green revolution.
    • He has been called the main architect of the green revolution in India for his leadership and role in introducing and further developing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice.

Q1) What is the purpose of Article 18 of the Constitution?

Article 18 talks about the abolition of titles. It says: No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State. No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State.

Q2) Who is awarded the Arjuna Awards in India?

The Arjuna Award, officially known as Arjuna Awards given for Outstanding Performance in Sports and Games, is the second-highest sporting honour of India, the highest being the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Source: Bharat Ratna 2024: India's top civilian award conferred on 5 eminent personalities | Indian Express