Which are India’s highest civilian awards?
An award is always a matter of pride and joy. Winning an award at a sports day or cultural event fills us with such pride. Imagine winning an award for being one of the best citizens of your country. Yes, there are awards which honour citizens of India, and it’s a matter of great pride to get such a prestigious award.
Every year on Republic Day, these civilian awards are announced by the government and conferred by the President of India. Let’s know what are these highest honours…
This is the highest Civilian Award in India which can be conferred to any person without the distinction of Race, Religion, Occupation or Sex. Recipients receive a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a peepal-leaf–shaped medallion. There is no monetary grant (money) associated with the award. Till now only 48 people have been honoured with Bharat Ratna. Some of them are Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar, Nelson Mandela, Rajiv Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, APJ Abdul Kalam, Sachin Tendulkar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Padma Awards – one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. These Awards are given in various disciplines or fields of activities, like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.
It is the 2nd highest civilian award and is conferred “for exceptional and distinguished service” in any field, including government service. This year George Fernandes (Posthumous), Arun Jaitley (Posthumous), former Prime Minister of Mauritius Anerood Jugnauth, Mary Kom, Chhannulal Mishra, Sushma Swaraj (posthumous) and Pejavara Adhokhaja Matha Udupi (Posthumous) received this award.
It is the 3rd highest Civilian Honour in India and is awarded “for distinguished service of a high order” in any field. So far 1229 people have received this prestigious award. Anand Mahindra and PV Sindhu among others were honoured with this award this year.
It is the 4th highest Civilian Award in India and is awarded “for distinguished service” in any field. This year Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut and Ekta Kapoor among others received this award.
These awards are conferred by the President of India at ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.