Bharat Ratna Current Affairs - 2019

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Bharat Ratna 2019 Awards presented by President of India

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, presented Bharat Ratna Awards to Nanaji Deshmukh (posthumously), Bhupendra Kumar Hazarika (posthumously) and Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Bharat Ratna 2019 Award Winners

Pranab Mukherjee: His life-long political career spanned about five decades. He was 13th President of India (from 2012 until 2017). He has also served as the Union Finance Minister from 2009 to 2012 under prime ministership of Manmohan Singh.

Bhupen Hazarika: He was a legendary Assamese singer-composer who died in 2011. He was most popular in Bengal and Bangladesh and was responsible for introducing culture and folk music of Assam and northeast India to Hindi cinema. He is popularly known as Sudhakantha, meaning the nightingale.

Nanaji Deshmukh: He had been a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). He is credited with bolstering Jana Sangh in Uttar Pradesh (UP). As a social activist, he laid emphasis on education. He established 1st Saraswati Shishu Mandir at Gorakhpur in 1950. He has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan earlier.

NOTE: Other Presidents, who had been conferred Bharat Ratna earlier are- Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Dr. V V Giri.

About Bharat Ratna

It is highest civilian award of Republic of India. It was instituted in 2 January 1954.

First recipients of Bharat Ratna award (1954)- C. Rajagopalachari, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and C. V. Raman.

Bharat Ratna recipients rank 7th in order of precedence of Republic of India.

Criteria: Bharat Ratna award is conferred in recognition of exceptional service/performance of highest order in any field of human endeavor. Till 2011 the award was originally limited to achievements in fields of arts, literature, science, and public services which was then changed. Also, original statutes did not provide for posthumous awards but were amended in 1955 to permit them.

Eligibility: It is conferred without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. Although usually Bharat Ratna is conferred on India-born citizens, but it has been awarded to one naturalised citizen (Mother Teresa) and to 2 non-Indians (former South African President Nelson Mandela and Pakistan national Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan).

Award Process: There is no formal nomination process. The recommendations for award can only be made by the Prime Minister to President.

Limits: Maximum of 3 nominees can be awarded per year.

Medal: Bharat Ratna recipients receive a certificate signed by President and a medal. Medal is in shape of a peepal leaf rimmed in platinum. The sun burst design with rays spreading out, made of platinum, is embossed on obverse side of medal. The words ‘Bharat Ratna’, in Devanagari Script, is inscribed on obverse side. In centre of reverse side of me A State Emblem of India is placed in centre of reverse side with national motto, ‘Satyamev Jayate’ (Truth alone triumphs) in Devanagari Script. There is no monetary grant associated with award.

MGR Centenary Arch in Chennai Unveiled

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu K Palaniswami has unveiled MGR Centenary Arch on Kamaraj Salai of Chennai.

MGR Centenary Arch

  • The MGR Centenary Arch has been built at an estimated cost of 2.52 crore, from the state Secretariat.
  • The Centenary Arch 66 feet wide and 52 feet height was proposed to commemorate the birth centenary of the late chief minister MG Ramachandran.
  • The division bench of Madras High Court had passed an interim order restraining the state government from inaugurating the arch, off the famous Marina beach, till disposal of public interest litigation petition opposing it last year.
  • The Madras High Court had permitted the Tamil Nadu government to unveil the arch but without any ceremony.

Why the Centenary Arch was challenged?

  • It was alleged that the arch was constructed by encroaching on arterial Kamarajar Salai and its pedestrian space meant for public use was in total violation of various legislations.
  • The Tamil Nadu Highways Act does not permit any permanent structure can be constructed either on the middle or the pathway of a road.

DR M G Ramachandran

DR M G Ramachandran popularly known as M. G. R is an actor, filmmaker and politician who served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years between 1977 and 1987. He has been also honoured with the Bharat Ratna.