List of Bharat Ratna Award Winners – General Awareness Study Material & Notes

The Bharat Ratna Award are India’s highest civilian honour. This awards was instituted in 1954 to give recognition to exceptional service, or performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.

  • The recommendations for awarding the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President of India.
  • Any person is eligible for this award without any distinction of race, occupation, position or sex.
  • The number of Bharat Ratna awards is restricted to a maximum of 3, for a particular year.
  • It should be noted here that it’s not mandatory to award Bharat Ratna every year.
  • The Bharat Ratna Awardee, on conferment, receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President of India and a medallion. The medallion has its base shape of sacred peepal leaf, it is rimmed in platinum.List of Bharat ratna recipients
  • The Bharat Ratna award does not carries any monetary grant.
  • Rules & Regulations: This award cannot be used as a ‘prefix or suffix’ to the recipient’s name. However, a recipient of the award can state the folloeing with his name:
    • Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President’ or
    • Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award’.
  • The first Indian to receive Bharat Ratna Award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman in 1954. He is also a Nobel prize winner.
  • << Read about Indian Nobel prize Winners here >>
  • First three recipients of Bharat Ratna: In 1954, three remarkable Indians were awarded Bharat Ratna – C Rajgopalachari, S. Radhakrishnan and C.V.Raman.
  • First posthumous Bharat Ratna: Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first Bharat Ratna recipient to be honoured posthumously in 1966.
  • First Naturalised Citizen Bharat Ratna: Mother Teresa was the first naturalized Indian citizen to receive Bharat Ratna Award in 1980.
  • Non-Indian Bharat Ratna Awardees: Two non indians have been awarded India’s highest civilian honour. Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan was awarded in 1987 and Nelson Mandela in 1990.
  • In 2015, Educationist Madan Mohan Malviya and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee are awarded the 44th and 45th Bharat Ratna Award respectively.

The List of Bharat Ratna Winners –

 S.No. Name of Recipient
Awarded      in
Field of Work 
 1 Shri Chakravarti     Rajagopalachari 1954  Independence activist. Last Governor – General of India.
 2 Dr. Sarvapali Radhakrishnan 1954 Philosopher, India’s 1st Vice President (1952 – 1962), and India’s 2nd President (1962 – 1967)
 3 Dr. Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman 1954  Physicist, known for discovery of the Raman Effect on light
 4 Dr. Bhagwan Das 1955  Kashi Vidya Peeth Founder, Author, Independence activist.
 5 Dr. Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya 1955   Civil engineer, Diwan of Mysore.
 6 Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru 1955  Independence activist, Author, 1st Prime Minister of India, (advised the president to award himself)
 7 Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant 1957 Independence activist, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister
 8 Dr. Dhondo Keshave Karve 1958 social reformer, Educationist
 9 Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy 1961 a Physician, Chief Minister of West Bengal
 10 Shri Purushottam Das Tandon 1961 Independence activist, Educationist.
 11 Dr. Rajendra Prasad 1962 Independence activist, Jurist, 1st President of India
 12 Dr. Zakir Hussain 1963 Independence activist, Scholar, 3rd President of India
 13 Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane 1963 Indologist, Sanskrit scholar
 14 Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (Posthumous) 1966 Independence activist, 2nd Prime Minister of India,                  (First posthumous award)
 15 Smt. Indira Gandhi 1971 3rd Prime Minister of India
 16 Shri Varahagiri Venkata Giri 1975  Trade unionist, 4th President
 17 Shri Kumaraswami Kamraj (Posthumous) 1976 Independence activist, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
 18 Mother Teresa 1980 Founder of Missionaries, Social activist                                            (first naturalised citizen to be awarded)
 19 Shri Acharya Vinobha Bhave (Posthumous) 1983 Independence activist and a Social reformer
 20 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan 1987 Independence activist, (First non-citizen)
 21 Shri Marudu Gopalan Ramachandran (Posthumous) 1988 Film actor, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
 22 Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar (Posthumous) 1990 Chief architect of Indian Constitution, Social Reformer, Crusader against Untouchablity, Economist, Dalit Icon, Historian, scholar, and politician
 23 Dr. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela 1990 Leader of Anti  – Apartheid movement (2nd non – citizen and non – Indian recipient)
 24 Shri Rajiv Gandhi (Posthumous) 1991 6th Prime Minister of India
 25 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Posthumous) 1991 Independence activist, 1st Home Minister
 26 Shri Morarji Ranchhodji Desai 1991 Independence activist, 4th Prime Minister
 27 Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (Posthumous) 1992  Independence activist, 1st Minister of Education
 28 Shri Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhai Tata 1992 Philanthropist and an Industrialist
 29 Shri Satyajit Ray 1992 Filmmaker
 30 Shri Gulzarilal Nanda 1997  Independence activist, Interim Prime Minister
 31 Smt. Aruna Asaf Ali (Posthumous) 1997 Independence activist
 32 Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam 1997 Aeronautical Engineer and 11th President of India
 33 Smt. Madurai Sanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi 1998 Carnatic classical singer
 34 Shri Chidambaram Subramniam 1998  Independence activist, Minister of Agriculture
 35 Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan (Posthumous) 1999 Independence activist, Politician
 36 Professor Amartya Sen 1999 Economist, Nobel Laureate
 37 Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi (Posthumous) 1999 Independence activist, Chief Minister of Assam
 38 Pandit Ravi Shankar 1999 Sitar player
 39 Sushri Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar 2001 Playback singer
 40 Ustad Bismillah Khan 2001 Hindustani classical Shehnai player
 41 Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi 2009 Hindustani classical Singer
42 Sachin Tendulkar 2014  Sports Person, Cricketer (Youngest Bharat Ratna Awardee)
43 Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao 2014 Chemist, for his works in solid-state and structural chemistry
44 Madan Mohan Malaviya 2015 Educationist(founder of Banaras Hindu University), Independence activist, known as “Mahamana”
45 Atal Bihari Vajpayee 2015 11th Prime Minister of India,

This is the latest updated list of Bharat Ratna award winners. We will update this as and when new updates arrive.

UPSC IAS Prelims 2017 Online Test Series

☑Study Plans & Online Test Series for Civil Services Exams

 UPSC Prelims Exam : 
How To Prepare
Test Series
 UPSC Mains Exam: 
How To Prepare
Test Series

Free Study Material & Online Tests for Various Subjects

 Current Affairs : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 General Awareness : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 Reasoning :  
Study Material
Online Quiz
 English : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 History : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 Geography : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 Political Science : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 Economics : 
Study Material
Online Quiz
 Environment GK :  Coming Soon
Online Quiz
 State Exam GK :  Coming Soon
Online Quiz

We'll Teach You FREE, How You Can...

    » Crack Exams Like UPSC, RPSC, NET-JRF in no time!


    » We'll send you all our Daily Current Affairs, Latest Study Material Free of Cost!


    » You'll also receive FREE eBooks & Questions Papers!

Sign Up Now!

Register to get our Free Study Material by email.

Your Name :

Your email-address* :


We promise never to Spam or Share your personal information with anyone.