The honour is given for exceptional work in the advancement of art, literature and science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order.
The Bharat Ratna and other national honours are presented on the Republic Day. The late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, classical vocalist, was the last recipient of the Bharat Ratna in 2011. In 2011, the government modified the eligibility criteria to allow sportspersons to receive the award and opened the award for performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour from for the highest degrees of national service. This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as "recognition of public service of the highest order."
The award is given for exceptional and distinguished services in any field including service rendered by government servants. The second highest civilian honour conferred by the Government of India.
The award is given for distinguished services of a high order in any field, including service rendered by government servants. The third highest civilian honour conferred by the Government of India.
PARAM VIR CHAKRA
The highest decoration for gallantry is the Param Vir Chakra, awarded for the most conspicuous bravery or daring or prominent act of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
The Mahavir Chakra is the second highest decoration and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
The medal is awarded for the most conspicuous bravery or daring or prominent act of valour or self-sacrifice during peace time activities.
The decoration is awarded for conspicuous gallantry. It is made of standard silver and is circular in shape.
The decoration is awarded for an act of gallantry. It is exactly like Ashok Chakra, except that it is made of bronze.
GANDHI PEACE PRIZE
The honour carrying the highest component of cash in India. This is awarded for exemplary work in the field of peace-making efforts and constructive work for the betterment of society (at national or international level). The anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela has been one of the recipients of this honour.
The Arjuna Award is given to outstanding sportspeople for excellence in any individual or team sport.
B D GOENKA AWARDS
Given for excellence in journalism. The award consists of a citation and a sun chariot, apart from a cash prize.
BHARTIYA JNANPITH AWARD
The Jnanpith Award has been sponsored by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a cultural-literary society, founded in 1944 by the noted industrialist Shanti Prasad Jain, to encourage creative writing in various modern Indian languages. The award carries with it a cash prize a citation, plaque and a replica of the Vagdevi, the symbol of outstanding literary achievement.
The award is given to any Indian writer in any of the 18 languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. It is given for outstanding contribution to creative writing in a specified period of 15 years but excluding the five years immediately preceding the year.
C K NAIDU TROPHY
Given to exceptionally good cricket players.
CHAMELI DEVI JAIN AWARD
Given to outstanding woman journalists.
DADA SAHEB PHALKE PRIZE
Given for outstanding contribution to filmmaking. The award, the highest official recognition for film personalities, consists of a cash prize, a ‘Swarna Kamal’, and a shawl. Introduced in 1971, the Dada Saheb Phalke award was first given to Devika Rani.
DAYAWATI MODI AWARD
Dayawati Modi Foundation gives the award for outstanding contributions in the field of culture for Art, Culture and Education.
Given to outstanding medical researchers. The award carries a citation, a gold medal and a bronze statue of Dhanvantri, the god of healing.
The award, instituted in 1985, is given to eminent coaches who have successfully trained international sportspersons and teams. It carries a statuette of the legendary archer Guru Dronacharya, a scroll and a cash prize.
G D BIRLA AWARD
Given in the field of scientific research.
GOLDEN PANDA AWARD
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gives the Golden Panda Award to persons making outstanding films / documentaries on environmental issues. This is thought to be equivalent of the Oscar for environmental movies.
INDIRA GANDHI PRIZE FOR PEACE, DISARMAMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Given at the international level for outstanding contributions in any or all of these fields by the Government of India.
JAMNALAL BAJAJ AWARD
Given for outstanding contribution in the field of constructive work and also for spreading Gandhian values outside India.
JAWAHARLAL NEHRU AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING
The honour is in recognition of making outstanding contribution to the promotion of international understanding, goodwill and friendship among the people of the world. It carries a citation, a trophy and a cash award and is administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Given by the UNESCO, the Kalinga Prize is presented annually to a person or persons in recognition of his / her outstanding contribution towards the popularization of science and technology. The award carries a silver medal and a cash component.
The highest American prize for literature and also journalism.
RIGHT LIVELIHOOD PRIZE
Also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize. Given by the Right Livelihood Foundation of Sweden, it recognizes significant achievements in social and constructive work in any field.
The highest prize for progress in religion. The prize is the world’s richest annual award.
VOLVO ENVIRONMENT PRIZE
Given in recognition of work on how the world’s energy resources can be made to suffice as the world’s population grows and the global environment becomes threatened.
Started as per the will of the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, these are given in six different fields. The Nobel Prize is regarded as the highest distinction in its respective field.
The six fields are
3. Medicine and Physiology
5. Economics (It was added in 1969 and is actually administered by the Riksbank, Sweden)