Nobel and other Prizes

M.S. Swaminathan, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Charan Singh to get Bharat Ratna


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bharat Ratna

Mains level : Key achievements of the Dignitaries

Bharat Ratna


  • The Bharat Ratna will be conferred on former Prime Ministers P. V. Narasimha Rao and Choudhary Charan Singh, as well as Green Revolution pioneer S. Swaminathan.
  • This will add to the two awardees already announced earlier this year — socialist leader Karpoori Thakur and former Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani.

About the Bharat Ratna Laureates

[1] Dr. M.S. Swaminathan

Aspect Details
Early Life
  • Born on August 7, 1925, in Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency.
  • Pursued higher education in zoology and agricultural science.
  • Passed away on 23rd September, 2023 at the age of 98.
Career Highlights
  • Conducted research on combating potato crop parasites during a UNESCO fellowship (1949-1954).
  • Earned a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1954.
  • Served as Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (1979-1982).
  • Appointed as Director General of the International Rice Research Institute in 1982.
Green Revolution Contributions
  • Pioneered high-yielding variety seeds and improved irrigation methods.
  • Collaborated with Dr. Norman Borlaug to develop high-yielding wheat varieties (1965-1970).
Challenges and Advocacy Advocated for fair Minimum Support Prices for farmers and highlighted ecological concerns.
Legacy and Recognition
  • Received numerous international accolades and civilian awards from India and other nations.
  • Honored with Padma Shri (1967), Padma Bhushan (1972), and Padma Vibhushan (1989) awards in India.
  • Awarded over 80 honorary doctorates from universities worldwide.


[2] PV Narasimha Rao

Early Life
  • Born on June 28, 1921, in Karimnagar district, Hyderabad State (now Telangana, India).
  • Passed away on December 23, 2004, in New Delhi.
  • Bachelor of Arts degree from Osmania University.
  • Higher studies at the University of Bombay and Nagpur University.
Political Career
  • Started in the Indian National Congress.
  • Served as MLA in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
  • Held ministerial positions, including Minister of External Affairs and Minister of Defence.
Economic Reforms (1991)
  • Initiated significant economic reforms in response to the 1991 crisis.
  • Reforms included dismantling the License Raj, opening up the economy, and initiating privatization.
Foreign Policy
  • Strengthened ties with the United States and other major powers.
  • Initiated the “Look East Policy” to enhance engagement with Southeast and East Asia.
South Asian Diplomacy
  • Handled the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and initiated dialogue with Pakistan.
  • Deployed peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF).
Political Legacy
  • Credited with laying the foundation for India’s economic liberalization and globalization.
  • Recognized for pragmatic leadership during a critical period in India’s history.
  • Remembered as a statesman who shaped India’s economic and foreign policies.


[3] Choudhary Charan Singh

Aspect Details
Early Life
  • Born on December 23, 1903, in Noorpur village near Hapur, India.
  • Entered politics during the national movement and was elected to the United Provinces Assembly from Chhaprauli in 1937.
Political Career
  • Advocated for village economy issues and fought against the exploitation of peasants by big landlords.
  • Served as Revenue Minister in UP’s first Chief Minister Govind Ballabh Pant’s cabinet, instrumental in implementing zamindari abolition and land ceiling laws.
  • Emerged as a popular leader among North Indian farmer communities and Muslims.
  • Became UP’s first non-Congress Chief Minister in 1967, forming a coalition government.
  • Won the 1977 Lok Sabha elections on the Janata Party ticket, became Deputy PM under Morarji Desai’s government.
  • Formed the Janata Party (Secular) in 1979, briefly served as PM with support from Indira Gandhi.
  • Championed the cause of peasants and created a new political class representing farming communities in North India.
  • Influenced the shift of farmer communities from Congress and Jan Sangh to parties specifically representing them.
  • His son, Ajit Singh, formed the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), continuing the family’s political legacy.
  • Charan Singh remains hailed as one of India’s tallest Jat leaders.


Back2Basics: Bharat Ratna

  • Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award of the Republic of India.
History and Evolution
  • Instituted in 1954.
  • Originally limited to achievements in arts, literature, science, and public services.
  • Criteria expanded in December 2011.
First Recipients C. Rajagopalachari, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and C. V. Raman were the first recipients in 1954.
Key Aspects
  • Not mandatory to be awarded every year.
  • Can be awarded to non-Indian citizens.
  • Recommendations made by the Prime Minister to the President.
  • Restricted to a maximum of three awards per year.
  • Recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) and a medallion.
  • No monetary grant accompanies the award.
Article Reference
  • Cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name, but can be indicated in biodata/letterhead/visiting card as “Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President” or “Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award”.
  • Article 18(1) of the Constitution states that the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name.

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