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Bharat Ratna 2019

Bharat Ratna 2019


  • GS1 || Arts and culture || Culture of India ||Awards and honours

Why in news?

  • The 2019 Bharat Ratna award has been bestowed upon former President Pranab Mukherjee, Nanaji Deshmukh and singer Bhupen Hazarika.

About Bharat ratna       

  • It is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India.
  • The award was originally limited to achievements in the arts, literature, science, and public services, but the government expanded the criteria to include “any field of human endeavour” in December 2011.

The award         

  • The medallion is designed like the leaf of pipal tree with sunburst in the center and Bharat Ratna is engraved underneath it.
  • On the backside, Indian emblem of India is embossed and Satyameva Jayate is inscribed in Devanagari script.
  • The medallion is worn around the neck using white ribbon.
  • The award does not carry any monetary endowment.

Who decides?

  • The recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President.The number of yearly awards is constrained to a maximum of three in a specific year.It is also not mandatory that Bharat Ratna be awarded every year

Bharat ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.  

Important facts

  • The first ever Indian to receive this award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. Since then, many dignitaries, each a whiz in varied aspects of their career ha received this coveted award.
  • The award has been awarded to a naturalized Indian citizen, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa (1980) and to two non-Indians – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990).

2019 awardee

  • Pranab Mukherjee : Pranab Mukherjee, India’s 13th President and one of the Congress’ tallest leaders for decades.
  • In a political career spanning nearly five decades, Mr Mukherjee has served as the Finance Minister, Defence Minister and also the Foreign Minister during the UPA’s rule at the centre. He then went on to serve as President of India from 2012 and 2017.
  • After Indira Gandhi’s death in 1984, he had a fallout with the Congress leadership.
  • He quit the party and even formed his own outfit, which was decimated in the elections. In 1991, Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao appointed him as the deputy chairman of the Indian planning commission and subsequently as a union cabinet minister. This was the beginning of his second stint in the Congress.
  • He has served on the Board of Governors of the IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank.
  • Social activist nanaji deshmukh : Deshmukh joined the RSS at the age of 13.
  • He was a Lok Sabha MP from Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh and became one of the key players responsible for the merger of the Jan Sangh with the Janata Party. He however refused to join the cabinet of Morarji Desai.
  • Nanaji Deshmukh passed away on February 27, 2010.
  • India’s former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam praised Deshmukh for his “single-minded devotion to the uplift of the people”.
  • Bhupen hazarika : Referred to as the “Bard of Brahmaputa”, Bhupen Hazarika was a singer, lyricist and musician from Assam.
  • He made his singing debut at the age of 12 in 1939.
  • In addition to Assamese, Bhupen Hazarika also composed, wrote and sang for numerous Bengali and Hindi films from 1930s to the 1990s.
  • He was also one of the leading author-poets of Assam with more than 1,000 lyrics and several short stories, essays and travelogues to his credit.
  • He had joined the BJP ahead of 2004 Lok Sabha elections impressed by the performance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He had also been an independent member of the Assam Assembly.
  • In May 2017, PM Modi named India’s longest bridge after Bhupen Hazarika.