National Awards of India
The national awards of India which are conferred by Govt. of India can be classified into different categories which include Civilian awards, Gallantry awards, Sports awards, Literature awards and Peace and Leadership awards.Civilian Awards: There are four types of civilian awards conferred by Govt. of India. (I) Bharat Ratna (II) Padma Vibhushan
(iii) Padma Bhushan(IV) Padma Shri
I). Bharat Ratna: It is the highest, the most renowned civilian award in India. These awards are conferred in the fields of science, art, literature and public services, but in Dec 2011 govt. of India changed the eligibility criterion and included any field of human endeavor, similarly, after the amendments made in 2013, sports category was also included and Sachin Tendulkar became the first sportsperson and youngest receiver of this award.
The Prime Minister of India nominates the people for this award and recommends their names to the President of India. The nominees for this award are selected on the basis of exceptional service, a performance of the highest order without any discrimination based on race, occupation, position or gender. The number of recipients for Bharat Ratna award is restricted to three in a year. So far, 45 Bharat Ratna awards have been conferred by Govt. of India. It is not compulsory that Bharat Ratna should be awarded every year.
The award was introduced on 2nd January 1954 by the then President of India, Rajendra Prasad and the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna awards are famous scientist Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman, politician C. Rajagopalachari, and philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In the beginning, only the living people were considered eligible for this award, but later this criterion was changed, and it was also awarded posthumously. Shri. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the first person to get Bharat Ratna posthumously (after death).
Let us see how the award looks: Design of Bharat Ratna
It is made of toned bronze in the shape of a peepal leaf. Its dimensions: 5.8 cm long, 4.7 cm wide and 3.1 mm thick. On the front side, it is embossed with a replica of Sun which is 1.6 cm in diameter and the words “Bharat Ratna” are crafted in Devnagri (Hindi) script on it. The reverse side of the award carries the state emblem and motto. The sun, emblem of India, and the rim of the award are made of platinum and a two-inch wide ribbon was attached to the award as it is designed to be worn around the neck when it is presented to the recipient.
Interesting Facts about Bharat Ratna Award:
- First to receive this award: scientist Chandrasekhar Venkata Raman (C.V Raman), politician C. Rajagopalachari, and philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
- First to receive this award posthumously: Lal Bahadur Shastri
- First to receive this award in the field of sports: Sachin Tendulkar
- Non-Indian recipients of this award: Nelson Mandela and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
- First women to receive this award: Indira Gandhi
- Youngest recipient of Bharat Ratna Award: Sachin Tendulkar
- The only film actor to receive this award: Satyajit Rey in 1992.
- The only industrialist with a business background to receive this award: JRD Tata in the year 1992.
Padma Awards, which are divided into three categories: Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, are conferred by Govt. of India for exceptional and distinguished services in any field including some public services in the government sector. These awards are announced every year on Republic Day.
The nomination process for these awards is open to all citizens of the country, it also includes self-nomination. All nominations are placed before the Padma Awards Committee, which is constituted by the Prime Minister of India every year. The recommendations made by the committee are submitted to the Prime Minister and the President of India for approval. The awards are presented by the President of India generally in the month of March or April. The awardees receive a medallion and a certificate signed by the President of India.
In 1954, the Govt. of India instituted two civilian awards: Bharat Ratna & Padma Vibhushan. Out of these two awards, the Padma Vibhushan had three classes: Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg and Tisra Varg. Later, these three classes were renamed Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, respectively.ii) Padma Vibhushan Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award conferred by Govt. of India. It is introduced on 2 January 1954 and is awarded for “exceptional and distinguished service” in the fields of art, science, public service, etc., including the services of government employees. Design of Padma Vibhushan: It is circular in shape and is made of bronze. It has a geometric pattern, the thickness is 0.6 mm and the diameter is 4.4 cm. On the front side, the word “Padma” is embossed on it in Devnagri script (Hindi) on the upper side and the word “Vibhushan” is embossed on the lower side; between these two words, it has a lotus flower. On the reverse side, it has a national emblem with “Satya Meva Jayate” carved on it. The geometric pattern, inscription (words) and the border is of burnished bronze and rest of the embossing is of white gold and a dark purple ribbon is attached to the award. iii) Padma Bhushan It is the third highest honor presented by the govt. of India. The award is conferred for distinguished services of a high order in any field. Design of Padma Bhushan: It is circular in shape and is made of bronze. On the front side, the word “Padma Bhushan” is embossed on it in Devnagri script (Hindi) along with a lotus flower. On the reverse side, it has national emblem with “Satya Meva Jayate” carved on it. The geometric pattern, inscription (words) and the border is of burnished bronze and rest of the embossing is of yellow gold and a white stripped purple ribbon is attached to the award.
iv) Padma Shri:
It is the fourth highest civilian award presented by the govt. of India. The award is conferred to a person for distinguished services in any field.
Design of Padma Shri:
It has a different design. The geometric pattern is given on both the sides: front and back. The word “Padma Shri” and a lotus flower are carved on the front side and national emblem is carved on the reverse side and a dual white grey stripped purple ribbon is attached to the medal.
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