The Bharat Ratna is India"s highest civilian honor. It is generally conferred on 26 January every year for rendering outstanding services to the world community. The award was instituted by the President of India on 2 January 1954.The Bharat Ratna medallion is made of bronze and shaped like a pipal leaf. The ribbon is white in colour. The replica of the sun with radiating rays can be seen on the obverse of the medallion with the words "Bharat Ratna" inscribed beneath it. Our National Emblem (The Lion Capital of Sarnath) is embossed on the reverse with the motto " Satyameva jayate" (only truth shall prevail).The award can also be granted posthumously . The awards are produced at the Kolkata Mint.
Bharat Ratna till now given in Literature, Arts, Science and Social Activities and Sports. The changes have been made to include sports in the above categories.