Bharat Ratna

India's highest civilian award

The 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 gender. The award was originally limited to achievements in the arts, literature, science, and public services, but the Government of India expanded the criteria to include "any field of human endeavor" in December 2011. The recommendations for the award are made by the Prime Minister to the President. The recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal leaf-shaped medallion with no monetary grant associated with the award. Bharat Ratna recipients rank seventh in the Indian order of precedence.

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