The Bharat Ratan is the highest civilian award. It means the “Jewel of India”.
Each year the Bharat Ratan is given to individuals who have performed exceptionally well in their field, expanding to any field of human endeavor. It was first given in the year 1954. Each year, the President of India chooses not more than three persons as Bharat Ratan awardees. However, in that first year, the award was given to four prominent personalities:
- Dr. CV Raman – Physician
- Jawaharlal Nehru – Freedom Fighter and First Prime Minister of India
- C. Rajagopalachari – Freedom Fighter and last Governor-General of India
- Dr. S. Radhakrishnan- First Vice President of India
Features of the Bharat Ratan Award
- A peepal-leaf-shaped medal and a certification are given to the Awardee.
- No cash is given to the Awardee
- The award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix.
- It is ranked seventh according to the order of Precedence.
- The first posthumous award was given to Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second prime Minister of India. Most recently, Pranab Mukherjee, 13th President of India, received the Bharat Ratan award.
The Padma Awards was introduced in 1954. It is also an individual award given to those who have excelled in any of their chosen fields such as Arts, Sports, Social Work, Public Affairs, Trade, Civil Service, Science and Technology, and Literature, to name a few. The Padma Awards are announced on Republic Day.
Three Categories of the Padma Awards
- Padma Vibhushan
- Padma Bhushan
- Padma Shri
The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award of India. Awardees of this are given a certificate and medal with a lotus flower and the words Desh Seva engraved.
The Padma Bhushan is the third-highest civilian award of the Indian Republic. This award is given to those who have contributed to India’s reputation in the global scenario.
The Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in India given to those who have shown excellence in their respective field. Like Bharat Ratan, there is no cash reward given to the awardees.
Rules for the Padma Awards
- Government servants except doctors and scientists are not considered.
- It is usually not given as a posthumous award.
- A person must have contributed to the public sector.
- There must be a time of at least five years for a lesser Padma recipient to be eligible for a higher degree of the award.
National Film Awards
These awards are given to the personalities who have contributed excellence in the cinematic world. These awards were also introduced in 1954. The Directorate of Film Festival was made in 1973 to organize these awards, while National Selection Panels decide the winner.
Following are the categories of National Film Awards:
It is also called the Golden Lotus Award and given to the Best Feature Film, Best Children’s Film, Best Direction, Best Popular Film, and the Best Debutant Director.
The Rajat Kamal is also called the Silver Lotus Award. This award is given to major categories of Indian films, such as:
Best Feature Film (For Schedule VIII languages)
Best Feature Film (For languages other than schedule VIII)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award was introduced in 1969 and is the highest award in Indian Cinema. The award is named after Dadasaheb Phalke (1870-1944), filmmaker of the First Indian full-length feature film Raja Harishchandra (1913). The award is given to the prominent personalities who have contributed their life for the advancement and development of Indian Cinema. The Awardee is rewarded with a Golden Lotus Medal and cash honor of ₹10 lakhs.
Literary Honors are given to persons who have achieved brilliance in literature. Following are the categories of literary honors:
Honors Given by Sahitya Akademi
Sahitya Akademi Award
The award was introduced in 1954 and given annually to the personalities who have created trends by publishing their work in any of Sahitya Akademi’s recognized languages. The Awardee is honored with ₹11 lakhs and a plaque.
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
It is the highest honor given by Sahitya Akademi. The fellows are chosen based on their outstanding contribution to literary arts.
This award is given to the writers who have contributed to under 24 recognized languages.
Sahitya Akademi gives these awards to those who have done translation work of any language to 24 recognized languages of Akademi.
This award was introduced in 1961 by Bhartiya Jnanpith, founder of The Times of India. It is given to personalities who composed literature in 22 languages of Schedule VIII and English. The Jnanpith Award is also known as Gyanpeeth Award. The Awardee is given ₹11 lakhs and a bronze statue of Goddess Saraswati.
Saraswati Samman Award
The Saraswati Samman Award was introduced in 1991 by the K.K. Birla Foundation. It is an annual award given for outstanding prose or poetry work in any of the 22 languages of Schedule VIII. The Awardee is honored with ₹15 lakh, a citation, and a plaque.
Vyas Samman Award
The Vyas Samman was also introduced by the K.K. Birla Foundation. The award is given to personalities who contributed to Hindi Literature, and whoever wins the award is honored with ₹2.5 lakhs.
A Way Forward
Awards are essential to motivate Indian citizens to make more outstanding contributions and achievements.