Bharat Ratna - Highest(Civilian ) Award in India
The highest civilian award for India is the Bharat Ratna. It was started established by the President oh India on 2nd January 1954. The original design of this award was in the form of a gold medal about 3.5 centimetres in diameter. It was to have the sun and the legend 'Bharat Ratna' engraved on it with a wreath. It is supposed to be worn around the neck with the help of a 2 inch wide white ribbon. This design was however altered later in January 1957. Bharat Ratna was given to different individuals for their outstanding contributions in fields of advancement Art, Literature and Science or public service. From 13 July 1977 to 26 January 1980, awards of the Bharat Ratna were suspended.
Some of the prominent figures to receive the Bharat Ratna award are:
Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was the first woman prime minister and a very efficient one. She was honoured with 'Bharat Ratna' in 1971. Rajiv Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shashtri were other prime ministers who were a recipient of this award but after their death (posthumus).
Some eminent figures in the music field to get this award are Lata Mangeshkar who is the vocalist, Pandit Ravishankar who is the famous sitar player, and ustaad Zakir Hussain a tabla player of great fame. Mother Teresa got this award in the field of public service.