List of Award Recipients

President Ram Nath Kovind conferred country's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna on former President and posthumously on social activist Nanaji and singer .

• Pranab Mukherjee received the award from the President, at a function in Rashtrapati Bhawan. • Bhupen Hazarika's son Tej Hazarika received the award on his behalf. • While a relative of , Virender Jeet Singh received the award for him.

Bharat Ratna is the highest level of civilian award in democratic , given for exceptional service towards advancement of India in a field of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order.

Recommendation of Bharat Ratna is made by Prime Minister to . The Bharat Ratna has been conferred after a gap of four years. It is not mandatory to bestow award every year. The number of annual awards has been restricted to maximum three in a particular year. Initially, the award was given to alive people for their national service but later it was changed. Also, in December 2011 the award was expended to any fields of human endeavour.

Bharat Ratna 2019

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On 25th January 2019, Bharat Ratna was announced by President Ram Nath Kovind to Pranab Mukherjee (former President of India), late Nanaji Deshmukh (social activist) and late Dr Bhupen Hazarika (singer).

In 2015, the Bharat Ratna award was given to the former Prime Minister and founder of Madan Mohan Malviya.

First Bharat Ratna was awarded in 1954 to C. V Raman (scientist), C. Rajagopalachari (politician) and Sarvepali Radhakrishnan (philosopher). Total 48 individuals have been awarded till now including three awards announced in 2019.

Bharat Ratna Awardee receives a certificate known as ‘Sanad’ signed by the President of India and a medallion. Initially, the medal was made from Gold but later was changed to Toned Bronze. The Medallion is in the shape of a Peepal Leaf. On it is an embossed replica of sun and words Bharat Ratna embossed in script.

About Pranab Mukherjee

• Pranab Mukherjee served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017. • Pranab Mukherjee was born in Mirati in Birbhum District of on December 11, 1935, to freedom fighters. • Mr Mukherjee acquired a Master's degree in History and Political Science as well as a degree in Law from the University of Calcutta. • He started his career as an upper division clerk in the office of deputy accountant general (post & telegraph) in Calcutta, after which he became a college teacher and later a journalist.

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• Mukherjee was chairman of Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. • Shri Pranab Mukherjee’s political career began in 1969 as Congress party’s member. • His ministerial career begun as the Deputy Minister of Industrial Development. • He was Finance Minister of India from 1982 to 1984. • He was conferred the , India's second-highest civilian award, in 2008. Best Parliamentarian Award in 1997 and Best Administrator in India 2011. • He was rated one of the Best Five Finance Minister of The World in 1984 according to a survey conducted by ‘Euro Market’. • Pranab Mukherjee has authored several books on the Indian Economy and National Building.

Here is the list of books authored by former President of India Pranab Mukherjee:

• The Coalition Years • Thoughts and Reflections • The Turbulent Years: 1980 - 1996 • The Dramatic Decade: The Years • Beyond survival • Challenges Before the Nation/Saga of Struggle and Sacrifice

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About Nanaji Deshmukh

• Nanaji Deshmukh was born in 1916 in a Marathi family in Parbhani, . As a child, he was inspired by freedom fighter . • Nanaji established India's first Saraswati Sishu Mandir at in 1950.

• Nanaji Deshmukh had been a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is the BJP's ideological mentor. He had worked as the RSS Pracharak in . • Nanaji Deshmukh had won in the 1977 election from Balrampur. • He was nominated to Rajya Sabha by the government in the year 1999 in recognition of his services to the nation. • He was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 1999. • He died on 27th February 2010.

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About Bhupen Hazarika

• Bhupen Hazarika was born on September 8, 1926, in Sadiya, , British India. He was the eldest of their ten children. • He made his singing debut at the age of 12 in 1939. • 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. • Bhupen Hazarika, popularly known as the 'Bard of Brahmaputra'.

• He attended Banaras Hindu University where he completed his graduation and post- graduation, obtaining his BA (1944) and MA (1946) in Political Science. • In 1949, he got enrolled at the Columbia University, New York, on a scholarship and earned his doctoral degree in 1952. • Hazarika was conferred the second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan in 2012. • He was honoured with the award for lifetime contribution to the development of Indian cinema in 1993.

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• In May 2017, Prime Minister inaugurated India’s longest bridge (9.15 km), which runs over the Lohit river in Assam. Modi named the Dhola-Sadia bridge after Bhupen Hazarika. • He died in November 2011 at the age of 85.

Facts related with Bharat Ratna

• Former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam received this esteemed honour in 1997. • was the first naturalized Indian Citizen to receive Bharat Ratana in 1980. • There are two Non-Indian Bharat Ratana winners Khan Abdul Ghaffar ( National) in 1987 and (former president of ) in 1990. • was the first sportsperson and Youngest Bharat Ratan Award Winner.

Facilities to Bharat Ratna Awardee's

• Bharat Ratna Awardee' is declared as a state guest while travelling within India in the states. • Indian missions abroad would provide proper facilitation as and when requested by awardees on their visit abroad. • They are entitled to diplomatic passports. • Lifetime free executive class travel on . • They are figured in column 7A for the table of precedence. It is published by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the order in this table is meant for State and Ceremonial occasions and has no application in the day-to-day business of Government. In such state or ceremonial functions, the Bharat Ratna Awardees are at 7A above Chief Ministers & Governors of states, outside their state.


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