Bharat Ratna Award List 1954 to 2023 (List of all Winners)

Bharat Ratna award 2023 winners are not yet decided. However, you may check here all past winners of Bharat Ratna Award since 1954.

Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India. Instituted in the year 1954, Bharat Ratna is given to those performance/ service of the highest order without distinction of race, position, occupation, or sex. This award is presented by the president of India. As of now, there are 48 individuals who have received this award. If you are a student of any competitive exam then you should know and remember the list of Bharat Ratna Award Winners.

In today’s article, we are going to share the complete list of the winners of the Bharat Ratna Award list 1954 to 2023.

Facts and Figures about Bharat Ratna Award List

Before we move on and discuss the list of Bharat Ratna, let’s go through some facts and figures about this award.

  • Usually, this award is given to Indian born citizens. However, Bharat Ratna has also been awarded to one naturalized citizen – Mother Teresa, and to two non-Indians: Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
  • Originally, the award was for achievements in the field of arts, literature, science, and public services. But, in the year 2011, the government expanded the criteria to include “any field of human endeavour”.
  • In the year 1992, the government decided to confer the award posthumously on Subhas Chandra Bose. But, this award was opposed by those who don’t accept the fact of Netaji’s death including his family members. Then, in the year 1997, after a verdict by the supreme court, Bose’s award was cancelled.
  • Awards given to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1991) and Madan Mohan Malaviya (2025) were also criticised because they died before the award was instituted.

List of Bharat Ratna Award Winners 2023

Bharat Ratna Award 1954

Names State/ Country Notes
C. Rajagopalachari Tamil Nadu Rajagopalachari was the Governor-General of India (1948–50). He also served as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for over two years between 1952 and 1954.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Tamil Nadu India’s first Vice-President (1952–62) and second President (1962–67)
C.V. Raman Tamil Nadu A scientist who worked in the field of atomic physics and electromagnetism and was presented Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930. Known for “Raman Scattering”.

Bharat Ratna Award 1955

Bhagwan Das Uttar Pradesh Co-founder of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith. Worked in the foundation of BHU.
M. Visvesvaraya Karnataka Civil engineer, statesman, and Diwan of Mysore.
Jawaharlal Nehru Uttar Pradesh First and longest-serving Prime Minister of India.

Bharat Ratna Award 1957

Govind Ballabh Pant Uttarakhand The First Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (1950–54)

Bharat Ratna Award 1958

Dhondo Keshav Karve Maharashtra Worked in the field of woman education and remarriage of Hindu widows.

Bharat Ratna Award 1961

Bidhan Chandra Roy West Bengal A physician, political leader, philanthropist, educationist, and social worker. He is the “Maker of Modern West Bengal”



Purushottam Das Tandon Uttar Pradesh Often titled as “Rajarshi”, Tandon was an independence activist and served as speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly (1937–50).

Bharat Ratna Award 1962

Rajendra Prasad Bihar Independence activist, lawyer, statesman, and scholar. Prasad was closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi in the non-cooperation movement for Indian independence.

Bharat Ratna Award 1963

Zakir Husain Andhra Pradesh Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. He was elected as second Vice-President of India (1962–67) and the third President of India.
Pandurang Vaman Kane Maharashtra Best known for his five-volume literary work, History of Dharmaśāstra: Ancient and Medieval Religious and Civil Law in India

Bharat Ratna Award 1966

Lal Bahadur Shastri Uttar Pradesh Second Prime Minister of India. Led country in 1965 Indo-Pakistan War. Known for his slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”.

Bharat Ratna Award 1971

Indira Gandhi Uttar Pradesh Known as the “Iron Lady of India”. Led country in 1971 Indo-Pakistan War.

Bharat Ratna Award 1975

V.V. Giri Odisha He worked in the position of Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Kerala and Mysore and various other cabinet ministries. He became the first acting president and was eventually elected as the fourth President of India.

Bharat Ratna Award 1976

K. Kamaraj Tamil Nadu He is also known as the “King Maker”. He played an instrumental role in making Lal Bahadur Shastri to the position of prime minister of India after Nehru’s death and Indira Gandhi after Shastri’s death.



Bharat Ratna Award 1980

Mother Teresa West Bengal (Born in Skopje, now North Macedonia) Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a catholic nun and founder of the Massionaries of Charity.

Bharat Ratna Award 1983

Vinoba Bhave Maharashtra Independence activist and social reformer. He was a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi. Bhave is best-known for his Bhoodan Movement.

Bharat Ratna Award 1987

Abdul Ghaffar Khan Pakistan Popularly known as “Frontier Gandhi”. He was an independent activist and Pashtun leader Khan was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.

Bharat Ratna Award 1988

M.G. Ramachandran Tamil Nadu He was an actor turned politician and founder of the Indian political party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Bharat Ratna Award 1990

B.R. Ambedkar Maharashtra Social Reformer and chief architect of the Indian Constitution.
Nelson Mandela South Africa Leader of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa. In 1993, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Bharat Ratna Award 1991

Rajiv Gandhi Uttar Pradesh He was the 6th Prime Minister of India.
Vallabhbhai Patel Gujarat First deputy prime minister of India. He is widely known as the “Iron Man of India”.
Morarji Desai Gujarat Apart from being an Independence activist, Mr Desai was the fourth Prime Minister of India.

Bharat Ratna Award 1992

Abul Kalam Azad West Bengal India’s first Minister of Education worked extensively towards free primary education.
JRD Tata Maharashtra Top-notch industrialist, and aviation pioneer. He was the founder of India’s first airline i.e. Air India.
Satyajit Ray West Bengal Satyajit Ray is the winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema.

Bharat Ratna Award 1997

Gulzarilal Nanda Punjab He is two times interim Prime Minister of  India (1964, 1966) and two times deputy chairman of the Planning Commission.
Aruna Asaf Ali West Bengal Arun Asaf Ali was an independence activist, Ali is better known for hoisting the Indian flag in Bombay during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
APJ Abdul Kalam Tamil Nadu Also known as the “Missile Man of India”, Kalam has played an instrumental role in the developments of multiple Indian missiles. He worked for r Indian National Committee for Space Research, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Laboratory.



Bharat Ratna Award 1998

M.S. Subbulakshmi Tamil Nadu Known as the “Queen of Songs”, She was the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award for her public service.



Chidambaram Subramaniam Tamil Nadu He was the former minister of Agriculture of India. Known for his contribution to Green Revolution in India.

Bharat Ratna Award 1999

Jayaprakash Narayan Bihar Famously known as “Loknayak” better known for the “Total Revolution Movement”.
Amartya Sen West Bengal Winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in the year 1998.
Gopinath Bordolol Assam The first chief minister  of Assam
Ravi Shankar Uttar Pradesh Sitar player. Four-time Grammy Award winner

Bharat Ratna Award 2001

Lata Mangeshkar Maharashtra Nightingale of India. One of the best playback singers of all time.
Bismillah Khan Uttar Pradesh Classical Shehnai player. Played shehnai for more than 80 years

Bharat Ratna Award 2009

Bhimsen Joshi Karnataka Disciple of Kirana Gharana, he is a classical vocalist from Karnataka.

Bharat Ratna Award 2014

CNR Rao Karnataka Recipient of honorary doctorates from 63 universities. He worked prominently in the fields of Solid State and Materials Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Molecular Structure.
Sachin Tendulkar Maharashtra Played 664 International cricket matches for India in a career two decades-long.

Bharat Ratna Award 2015

Madan Mohan Malaviya Uttar Pradesh Founder of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (1906) and Banaras Hindu University
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Madhya Pradesh Three times prime minister of India. Parliamentarian for over four decades.

Bharat Ratna Award 2019

Pranab Mukherjee West Bengal 13th President of India. Managed various ministries throughout his political carrier.
Bhupen Hazarika Assam Playback singer, lyricist, musician, poet and film-maker from Assam, widely known as Sudhakantha.
Nanaji Deshmukh Maharashtra A social activist who worked in the field of education, health, and rural self-reliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was the first Bharat Ratna of India?

The first Bharat Ratna Award was given to the following three personalities – C. Rajagopalachari, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, CV Raman.

Who is the youngest Bharat Ratna Ever?

Sachin Tendulkar at the age of 40.

What is mentioned on the front side of the Bharat Ratna Award?

On the front side of the Bharat Ratna Award, an image of the Sun along with the words “Bharat Ratna”, inscribed in Devanagari script, is on a peepal leaf.

What is mentioned on the reverse (back) side of the Bharat Ratna Award?

On the reverse side of the Award, you will see the State Emblem of India along with the National Motto “Satyameva Jayate” in the devanagari script.

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