From left to right. MS Swaminathan, Chaudhary Charan Singh, PV Narasimha Rao /
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced former Prime Ministers late Narasimha Rao and Chaudhary Charan Singh, as well as agricultural scientist MS Swaminathan as the recipients of the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian award.
His announcement comes days after former Home Affairs Minister Lal Krishna Advani was named for the same honor.
Announcing the award for late Narasimha Rao, PM Modi stated that he was a distinguished scholar and statesman who served the country extensively in various capacities. Modi recognized Rao for his contribution as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister, and as a member of Parliament and Legislative Assembly.
"His visionary leadership was instrumental in making India economically advanced, laying a solid foundation for the country's prosperity and growth," PM Modi wrote.
"Furthermore, his contributions to India's foreign policy, language and education sectors underscore his multifaceted legacy as a leader who not only steered India through critical transformations but also enriched its cultural and intellectual heritage," the Prime Minister added. Rao was the ninth PM of the country. He died at the age of 83.
Conferring the award on Singh, PM Modi emphasized that the late leader dedicated his entire life to the rights of farmers and their welfare. Chaudhary Charan Singh was the fifth PM of India. Hailing from a rural peasant family in Noorpur village, he entered politics as part of Mahatma Gandhi's independence movement. He died at the age of 82 in 1987.
Acknowledging Swaminathan’s pivotal role in the green revolution, PM Modi said his "visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity."
Swaminathan is a recipient of numerous awards, including Ramon Magsaysay award and Albert Einstein World Science Award. He passed away in September 2023.
"We also recognise his invaluable work as an innovator and mentor and encouraging learning and research among several students. Dr. Swaminathan’s visionary leadership has not only transformed Indian agriculture but also ensured the nation’s food security and prosperity. He was someone I knew closely and l always valued his insights and inputs," Modi added on X.