Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will be conferred the Bharat Ratna today. President Pranab Mukherjee will personally visit Mr Vajpayee’s residence to confer India’s highest civilian honour in the evening.
The Government had announced the Bharat Ratna for Mr Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya in December, 2014. The award will be conferred posthumously to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 30th of March, along with the civil investiture ceremony for the Padma awards.
Bharat Ratna, instituted on 2 January 1954, is the highest civilian award of India. It is conferred “in recognition of exceptional service of the highest order in the field of the arts, literature, science, public services and any field of human endeavour.
As many as 43 people have been honoured with the prestigious award since its inception, including philanthropist Mother Teresa, scientist C V Raman, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, singer Lata Mangeshkar and politician C Rajagopalachari, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and others.