New Delhi, March 26 – Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will receive Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour in the country, on March 27, 2015. Going against the protocol, President Pranab Mukherjee will visit the ailing 90-year-old veteran BJP leader and confer the award.
In December last year the Central government has announced the prestigious award for the Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malaviya. Kin of Madan Mohan Malviya will receive the award on March 31, 2015.
Instituted on January 2, 1954, the Bharat Ratna award has been bestowed on 45 individuals so far including 11 who were awarded posthumously. The award was originally limited to achievements in the field of arts, literature, science and public services but in 2011 the criteria was expanded to accommodate any field of human endeavour.