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What is "Bharat Ratna" and who have received this award till date?

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What is "Bharat Ratna" and who have received this award till date?
posted Jan 28, 2015 by Pardeep Kohli

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Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India. Instituted on 2 January 1954, the award is conferred "in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order", without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. 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. Recommendations for the Bharat Ratna are made by the Prime Minister to the President, with a maximum of three nominees being awarded per year. Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion; there is no monetary grant associated with the award. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence, but are constitutionally prohibited from using the award name as a title.

This is a list of recipients of Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India.

Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar
Aruna Asaf Ali
Abul Kalam Azad
Vinoba Bhave
Gopinath Bordoloi
K Kamraj
Mother Teresa
Bhagwan Das
Morarji Desai
Indira Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
V. V. Giri
Zakir Hussain (politician)
Abdul Kalam
Pandurang Vaman Kane
Dhondo Keshav Karve
Bismillah Khan
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
Nelson Mandela
Lata Mangeshkar
Gulzarilal Nanda
Jayaprakash Narayan
Jawaharlal Nehru
Govind Ballabh Pant
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
Rajendra Prasad
Purushottam Das Tandon
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
C. Rajagopalachari
M. G. Ramachandran
C. V. Raman
Satyajit Ray
Bidhan Chandra Roy
Amartya Sen
Ravi Shankar
Lal Bahadur Shastri
M. S. Subbulakshmi
Chidambaram Subramaniam
J. R. D. Tata
Bhimsen joshi
Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya
Sachin Tendulkar
C. N. R. Rao
Madan Mohan Malaviya
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
answer Jan 28, 2015 by Manikandan J