Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Sri Pranab Mukherjee, Shri Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), and Dr Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (posthumously). The Awards were given at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 08th August 2019.
Some facts about the Bharat Ratna Award:
- Bharat Ratna is the highest Civilian Award in India
- The Prime Minister recommends the names for the Bharat Ratna Award to the President
- A maximum of three nominees are given Bharat Ratna award per year.
- The winners of Bharat Ratna award receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion.
- There is no financial grant associated with the Bharat Ratna award.
- It is to be noted that the Bharat Ratna recipients rank at seventh number in the Indian order of precedence.
- The first winners of the Bharat Ratna award were C. Rajagopalachari, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and C. V. Raman. They were honoured in 1954.
- Former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to be honoured Bharat Ratna award posthumously.
- Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is the youngest recipient of Bharat Ratna award.
- Bharat Ratna is usually given to Indians but it has also been awarded to Mother Teresa, who was a naturalised citizen, and to two non-Indians, Pakistan national Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and former South African President Nelson Mandela.
Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee:
- Pranab Mukherjee was born on 11 December 1935.
- He is an Indian politician and has been a senior leader in the Indian National Congress.
- He served as the 13th President of India from 2012 until 2017.
- Before becoming the President of India, he was the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012.
Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika:
- Bhupen Hazarika was born on 8th September 1926.
- He hailed from Assam and was an Indian playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and film-maker.
- He was widely known as Sudhakantha.
- His songs are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood. Many of his songs have been translated and sung in many languages.
- He was the winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1987), Padmashri (1977), and Padmabhushan (2001).
- in 1992, Bhupen Hazarika was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke Award which is India’s highest award in cinema.
Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh:
- Nanaji Deshmukh, also known as Chandikadas Amritrao Deshmukh, was born on 11th October 1916.
- He was a social activist who worked in the fields of education, health, and rural self-reliance.
- He was conferred with the Padma Vibhushan in 1999.
- He was a leader of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and also a member of the Rajya Sabha.
- He is the 2nd leader from RSS ranks, after Atal Bihari Vajpayee, to be given Bharat Ratna Award.
The Bharat Ratna 2019 awards were conferred after a gap of four years. In 2015, the Indian Government had conferred the prestigious award upon former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya. With this, the total number of Bharat Ratnas in India has gone up to 48.