History

First president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad ordered for establishing biggest ever civilian award Bharat Ratna on January 2, 1954. Concept of awarding this award posthumously was not there in the original statute declared in January 1954...

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Key Points

Soon after the award was established its original concept followed presenting a circular gold medal that would have state emblem and motto and rest aspects as decided thereafter. Factors including concrete decision about design to choose...

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Diputes

Posthumous Bharat Ratna award to the Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1992 came into news for typical reasons. A Public Interest Litigation stalled everything and the award was forced to be withdrawn thereafter...

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Key Points

Soon after the award was established its original concept followed presenting a circular gold medal that would have state emblem and motto and rest aspects as decided thereafter. Factors including concrete decision about design to choose on the basis of original specification is still not highlighted. Devanagari script was used to inscribe "Bharat Ratna" on the medal while original medal was designed in the peepul leaf shaped medal. Both state emblem and motto have been inscribed in its back potion. A 2-inch-wide (51 mm) ribbon is attached to this medal so that recipients can be presented through decorating around the neck upon presentation.

Some modification in eligibility for this award was introduced in 2011 with Government of India taking decision to permit sportspersons as well for this award for outstanding performances. Its concept was widened further with an approach that anybody performing highest in order for anything that makes the human endeavor for betterment should be recognized. It widened from previous criteria of highest roles to serve the country. Widened approach added many additional areas of human endeavor including the artistic, literary and achievements in scientific areas so are additions from highest order public service achievement recognitions.

Former prime minister Indira Gandhi had recognition of being youngest person alive while received this prestigious award at the age of mere 54 years. In the youngest posthumous award winners the name of Rajiv Gandhi comes who was awarded at the age of 47 only. At the age of 99, Gulzarilal Nanda remained the eldest of all alive award winners and the eldest posthumous award winner is Vallabhbhai Patel who was awarded at the age of 116.