Discover the Best of India’s National Awards and Honors: Recognizing Excellence and Contributions to the Nation

India, the seventh-largest country by land area, is a diverse nation with a rich cultural and historical heritage. Over the years, several national awards and honors have been introduced to recognize and honor the contributions of individuals and organizations toward the growth and development of the country.

In this article, we will explore the different types of national awards and honors in India, their significance, and the recipients who have been honored with them.

National Awards & Honors

India has numerous national awards and honors, which recognize the contributions and achievements of individuals and organizations in various fields. Here is a comprehensive list of all the national awards and honors of India:

Bharat Ratna: It is the highest civilian award in India, presented for exceptional service and achievements in various fields.

Padma Vibhushan: It is the second-highest civilian award in India, presented for exceptional and distinguished service in various fields.

Padma Bhushan: It is the third-highest civilian award in India, presented for distinguished service in various fields.

Padma Shri: It is the fourth-highest civilian award in India, presented for distinguished service in various fields.

Arjuna Award: It is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, recognizing outstanding achievements in sports.

Dronacharya Award: It is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, recognizing outstanding coaches in sports.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna: It is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, recognizing outstanding achievements in sports.

Sahitya Akademi Award: It is presented by the Sahitya Akademi, recognizing outstanding literary works in various Indian languages.

Jnanpith Award: It is presented by the Bharatiya Jnanpith, recognizing outstanding literary works in various Indian languages.

Gandhi Peace Prize: It is presented by the Government of India, recognizing contributions towards peace and non-violence.

National Bravery Award: It is presented by the Indian Council for Child Welfare, recognizing acts of bravery by children.

National Film Awards: It is presented by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, recognizing outstanding contributions to the Indian film industry.

Saraswati Samman Award: It is presented by the K.K. Birla Foundation, recognizing outstanding contributions to literature.

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize: It is presented by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, recognizing outstanding contributions in various fields of science.

Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development: It is presented by the Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust, recognizing contributions towards peace, disarmament, and development.

These are some of the major national awards and honors in India. Each award has its own eligibility criteria, selection process, and significance. Recipients of these awards are considered among the most outstanding and accomplished individuals in the country.

Padma Awards

The Padma Award is one of the highest civilian awards in India. They were instituted in 1954 to recognize and honor individuals for their exceptional work in various fields, including art, literature, education, social work, sports, medicine, science, and engineering. The awards are presented on the eve of Republic Day (January 26) every year.

The Padma Awards are conferred in three categories:

Padma Vibhushan: This is the second-highest civilian award in India, and it is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service in any field.

Padma Bhushan: This is the third-highest civilian award in India, and it is awarded for distinguished service in any field.

Padma Shri: This is the fourth-highest civilian award in India, and it is awarded for distinguished service in any field.

Some of the notable recipients of the Padma Awards include Sachin Tendulkar, Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rahman, Amitabh Bachchan, Narayana Murthy, Ratan Tata, Shashi Tharoor, and Mary Kom.

Bharat Ratna

The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India. It was instituted in 1954 to recognize and honor individuals who have made exceptional contributions in any field of human endeavor. The award is presented on the eve of Republic Day (January 26) every year.

The Bharat Ratna is only awarded to individuals, and it is not conferred posthumously. Some of the notable recipients of the Bharat Ratna include Mother Teresa, Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Abdul Kalam, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Gandhi Peace Prize

The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award given to individuals and organizations for their contributions towards social, economic, and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.

The award was instituted in 1995 and is presented on the occasion of the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth (October 2) every year.

The Gandhi Peace Prize carries a cash award of INR 1 crore (approximately USD 137,000). Some of the notable recipients of the Gandhi Peace Prize include Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Desmond Tutu, and Ramakrishna Mission.

Arjuna Award

The Arjuna Awards are one of the highest honors given to sportspersons in India. The awards were instituted in 1961 to recognize and honor outstanding achievements in sports. The awards are presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports every year.

The Arjuna Awards are given in different categories, including archery, athletics, badminton, boxing, cricket, football, gymnastics, hockey, kabaddi, lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, and wrestling.

Some of the notable recipients of the Arjuna Awards include Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Dronacharya Award

The Dronacharya Awards are given to outstanding coaches in India for their contributions toward the development of sportspersons. The awards were instituted in 1985 and are presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports every year.

The Dronacharya Awards are given in different categories, including Lifetime Achievement, Regular Category, and Incentive Category.

Some of the notable recipients of the Dronacharya Awards include Satpal Singh, Pullela Gopichand, Bishweshwar Nandi, P.Gopichand, S. Pradeep Kumar, and Vimal Kumar.

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honor in India. It was instituted in 1991 to recognize and honor outstanding achievements in sports. The award is named after former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports every year.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is given to sportspersons who have not only achieved exceptional success in their sport but also contributed towards the promotion of sports in the country.

Some of the notable recipients of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna include Viswanathan Anand, Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Abhinav Bindra, Saina Nehwal, and Virat Kohli.

National Film Award

The National Film Awards are given to outstanding contributions to the Indian film industry. The awards were instituted in 1954 and are presented by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting every year.

The National Film Awards are given in different categories, including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Screenplay.

Some of the notable recipients of the National Film Awards include Satyajit Ray, Shabana Azmi, Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah, Kamal Haasan, A.R. Rahman, and Mani Ratnam.

Saraswati Samman Award

The Saraswati Samman is an annual literary award given to Indian authors for their outstanding contributions to literature. The award was instituted in 1991 by the K.K. Birla Foundation and is presented every year.

The Saraswati Samman carries a cash award of INR 15 lakhs (approximately USD 20,000). Some of the notable recipients of the Saraswati Samman include Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Mahasweta Devi, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Ramakanta Rath, and Sri Sri Ravishankar.

Sahitya Akademi Award

The Sahitya Akademi Award is one of the most coveted literary awards in India. Instituted in 1955 by the Sahitya Akademi, the award is presented annually to outstanding writers in 24 Indian languages.

The award is given for the best literary works published during the previous year in the respective languages. The award includes a cash prize, a citation, and a shawl.

The Sahitya Akademi Award has been bestowed on some of the most prominent Indian writers, including Rabindranath Tagore, Mulk Raj Anand, and Amrita Pritam.

Jnanpith Award

The Jnanpith Award is considered to be the highest literary award in India. Instituted in 1961, the award is given annually to Indian writers who have made significant contributions to the field of literature.

The award recognizes literary works written in any of the 22 official languages of India. The recipient of the award is given a cash prize, a citation, and a bronze replica of Vagdevi, the goddess of knowledge.

Some of the most notable recipients of the Jnanpith Award include Kuvempu, Bhalchandra Nemade, and Girish Karnad.

National Bravery Award

The National Bravery Award is one of the most prestigious awards given to children in India. Instituted in 1957, the award is given to children who have displayed exceptional courage in the face of adversity.

The award is given in five categories, namely, the Bharat Award, the Sanjay Chopra Award, the Geeta Chopra Award, the Bapu Gaidhani Award, and the General National Bravery Award.

The recipients of the award are given a medal, a certificate, and a cash prize. The National Bravery Award has been conferred on many brave children who have risked their lives to save others.

Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize

The Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize is one of the most prestigious scientific awards in India. Instituted in 1957, the award is given annually to Indian scientists who have made significant contributions to various fields of science.

The award is presented in seven categories, namely, biological sciences, chemical sciences, earth, atmosphere, ocean, and planetary sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, medical sciences, and physical sciences.

The award includes a cash prize, a citation, and a plaque. Some of the most distinguished recipients of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize include Homi Bhabha, C. N. R. Rao, and Raghunath A. Mashelkar.

Conclusion

India has a rich history and cultural heritage that has been preserved through the contributions of several individuals and organizations.

National awards and honors are a way of recognizing and honoring the contributions of these individuals and organizations toward the growth and development of the country.

Through these awards, India acknowledges the talent, hard work, and dedication of its citizens toward the progress of the nation.

Author

  • Shivam Singh

    Greetings, I am thrilled to introduce myself as the founding editor of Mithila Today Media Network. Since my earliest years, writing has been my passion, and I have made it my life's work to craft stories that educate and captivate our audience. My aim is to produce content that stimulates conversation and challenges perspectives. Storytelling, I believe, is a crucial means of fostering understanding and compassion between individuals and communities. With Mithila Today, my mission is to establish a platform that provides people with the information they need and the means to share their own stories, fostering an environment of meaningful discourse and dialogue.

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