Prelims 2021

Q. Consider the following statements in respect of Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards:

1.Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards are titles under the Article 18(1) of the Constitution of India.
2.Padma Awards, which were instituted in the year 1954, were suspended only once.
3.The number of Bharat Ratna Awards is restricted to a maximum of five in a particular year.

Which of the above statements are not correct?
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 2 and 3 only
c) 1 and 3 only
d) 1, 2 and 3
Correct Answer: d) 1, 2 and 3

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards

The Indian Constitution and its provisions regarding titles and awards are often misunderstood. A common misconception is that the Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards are titles under Article 18(1). However, this is not the case, as Article 18(1) specifically prohibits the state from conferring titles other than those that are military or academic in nature. The Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards are, in fact, civilian awards given by the President of India to individuals for their exceptional service to the nation and do not fall under the purview of this article.

History of the Padma Awards

The Padma Awards, established in 1954, have a history of being suspended, contrary to the belief that they were suspended only once. In reality, these prestigious awards have been withheld twice in Indian history. The first suspension occurred from July 1977 to January 1980, and the second from 1992 to 1995, reflecting periods of reconsideration and review of the awarding process.

Bharat Ratna Award Limitations

Another common misconception is regarding the number of Bharat Ratna Awards that can be conferred in a single year. It is often thought that there is a cap of five awards per year. However, there is no official limit to the number of Bharat Ratna recipients in a given year. While the practice has been to award a very small number annually, typically not exceeding three, this is not a mandated restriction.

Source:-Bharat Ratna – Wikipedia

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