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Bharat Ratna Award Winners from 1954 to 2023

Bharat Ratna Award Winners: The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India, bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions in various fields. Since its inception in 1954, the Bharat Ratna has been awarded to distinguished personalities who have left an indelible mark on the nation. From renowned scientists and artists to social activists and political leaders, the recipients of the Bharat Ratna represent the diverse talent and achievements of India. This article provides an insightful glimpse into the illustrious list of Bharat Ratna award winners from 1954 to 2023, honoring their extraordinary contributions to the nation’s progress and development.

What is Bharat Ratna?

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India, conferred upon individuals who have made exceptional contributions to various fields and brought immense pride to the nation. The term “Bharat Ratna” translates to “Jewel of India” in Hindi, emphasizing the significance and prestige associated with the award.

Established on 2nd January 1954, the Bharat Ratna is awarded by the President of India. The award recognizes individuals who have excelled in fields such as art, literature, science, social service, public affairs, and sports. It serves as a symbol of national recognition and gratitude for their extraordinary achievements and contributions.

Over the years, the Bharat Ratna has been presented to eminent personalities from diverse backgrounds. Recipients include scientists, artists, writers, musicians, social activists, politicians, and sports icons who have made remarkable contributions in their respective domains. The award is a testament to their exceptional talent, dedication, and impact on the nation’s growth and development.

Being awarded the Bharat Ratna is a matter of great prestige and honor. It not only acknowledges the recipient’s exceptional accomplishments but also serves as an inspiration for future generations to strive for excellence and contribute to the betterment of society and the nation.

The Bharat Ratna is accompanied by a certificate of honor and a medallion. The award holds immense significance and is considered a crowning achievement in an individual’s career, representing the highest recognition and appreciation by the Indian government for their outstanding contributions to the nation.

List of Bharat Ratna Award Winners

The Bharat Ratna Award, India’s highest civilian honor, has been bestowed upon numerous distinguished individuals since its inception in 1954. The prestigious list of Bharat Ratna recipients includes luminaries from various fields who have made exceptional contributions to society. From renowned scientists and visionary leaders to exceptional artists and social reformers, the award has recognized their remarkable achievements and their profound impact on the nation. Each name on the list represents a story of excellence, dedication, and a significant contribution to the progress and enrichment of India. The list of Bharat Ratna award winners stands as a testament to India’s rich talent and the nation’s gratitude for their outstanding service.


Winner Profession


C. Rajagopalachari Activist, statesman, & lawyer
 Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan  India’s first Vice-President & second President
C. V. Raman Physicists, mathematicians, & scientists


Bhagwan Das Activist, philosopher, & educationist
M. Visvesvaraya Civil engineer, statesman, & Diwan of Mysore
Jawaharlal Nehru Activist, author, first Prime Minister of India


Govind Ballabh Pant Activist & first Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh


Dhondo Keshav Karve Social reformer & educator


Bidhan Chandra Roy Physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, & social worker
Purushottam Das Tandon Activist & speaker of the United Provinces Legislative Assembly


Rajendra Prasad Activist, lawyer, statesman, & scholar


Zakir Husain Activist, economist, Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and the Governor of Bihar
Pandurang Vaman Kane Indologist & Sanskrit scholar


Lal Bahadur Shastri Activist & second Prime Minister of India


Indira Gandhi  First women Prime Minister of India


V. V. Giri Trade Unionist


K. Kamaraj Independence activist & statesman, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu


Mother Teresa  Catholic nun & the founder of the Missionaries of Charity.


Vinoba Bhave  Activist, social reformer


Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan First noncitizen, independence activist


M. G. Ramachandran Politician, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu


B.R. Ambedkar Social reformer & leader of the Dalits
Nelson Mandela Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, President of South Africa


Rajiv Gandhi Ninth Prime Minister of India
Vallabhbhai Patel Activist, & first Deputy Prime Minister of India
Morarji Desai Activist, & Prime Minister of India


Abul Kalam Azad Activist & first Minister of education
J. R. D. Tata Industrialist, philanthropist, and aviation pioneer
Satyajit Ray Director, filmmaker, writer, novelist


Gulzarilal Nanda Activist, & interim Prime Minister of India.
Aruna Asaf Ali Activist
A.P.J Abdul Kalam Aerospace & defence scientist


M. S. Subbulakshmi Carnatic classical vocalist
Chidambaram Subramaniam Activist & former Minister of Agriculture of India


Jayaprakash Narayan  Activist, and social reformer
Amartya Sen Economist
Gopinath Bordoloi Activist
Ravi Shankar Musician, sitar player


Lata Mangeshkar Singer
Bismillah Khan Hindustani classical shehnai player


Bhimsen Joshi Hindustani classical vocalist


C. N. R. Rao  Chemist and professor, author
Sachin Tendulkar Cricketer


Madan Mohan Malaviya Scholar and educational reformer.
Atal Bihari Bajpayee Elected nine times to the Lok Sabha, twice to the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister of India for three terms.


Pranab Mukherjee Indian politician, and senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
Nanaji Deshmukh A social activist from India, education, health, and rural self-reliance.
Bhupen Hazarika  Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet, and filmmaker from Assam.

Bharat Ratna Awardees

The Bharat Ratna Award has recognized the extraordinary achievements and contributions of individuals across diverse fields, reflecting the nation’s appreciation for their exceptional talent and service. From pioneers in science and technology to eminent social reformers, artists, and visionary leaders, each Bharat Ratna recipient has left an indelible mark on the nation’s history and progress. The list of winners represents a diverse tapestry of talent, united by their dedication to excellence and their significant impact on society. As we reflect on the remarkable individuals who have received this prestigious honor, we are reminded of the power of human potential and the immense contributions that individuals can make towards the betterment of our nation and the world.

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What is the Bharat Ratna Award?

The Bharat Ratna is India's highest civilian award, presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions in various fields and have brought great pride to the nation.

Who is eligible to receive the Bharat Ratna Award?

The Bharat Ratna can be awarded to any citizen of India, regardless of occupation, race, or gender.

When was the Bharat Ratna Award first instituted?

The Bharat Ratna was instituted on January 2, 1954.

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