After 3-year lull, a spree of Bharat Ratnas ahead of LS polls

NEW DELHI: The decision to award the Bharat Ratna to former Prime Ministers P V Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, as well as green revolution pioneer M S Swaminathan, brings the total number of recipients to 53.
2024 has seen the highest number of Bharat Ratna awards given in a single year so far, with five recipients already.
New recipients
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the new recipients on Friday, praising their contributions to the nation.
P V Narasimha Rao, known for his liberalisation policies that revolutionised the economy, and Charan Singh, a champion of farmers’ rights, will be honored for their leadership and dedication.
M S Swaminathan, a renowned agricultural scientist, has been recognised for his role in developing high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice, which greatly increased food grain production in India during the 1960s and 1970s.

Former chief minister of Bihar Karpoori Thakur was awarded the highest civilian in January this year and Lal Krishna Advani was conferred the honour earlier this month.
Highest civilian honour
The last Bharat Ratna award was given to Pranab Mukherjee in 2019, and posthumously awarded to Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika and Nanaji Deshmukh. No awards were conferred between 2020 and 2023.

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The Bharat Ratna, along with the Padma Vibhushan, was instituted by the Government of India in 1954. The award is given in recognition of exceptional service or performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavor. Recommendations for Bharat Ratna are made by the prime minister to the president, and no formal recommendations are necessary.
Over the years, the Bharat Ratna has been conferred upon many notable individuals, including Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Sachin Tendulkar, and A P J Abdul Kalam. The award holds great prestige and is treated differently from the Padma awards.

On receiving the award, the recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. While the award does not carry any monetary grant, it symbolizes the highest recognition of service to the nation.
The Bharat Ratna has a rich history, with its first recipients being C Rajagopalachari, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman. Since then, it has been awarded to individuals from various fields, including politics, science, arts, and social work.
(With inputs from agencies)

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