Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Prof C N R Rao were chosen for Bharat Ratna, 2013 with the batting maestro, who retired from international cricket on Saturday, being the first sportsman to be bestowed with the country's highest civilian honour. Tendulkar(40) and Rao(89), both of whom are recipients of Padma Vibhushan--the country's second highest civilian honour, join a list of 41 eminent personalities to get the award given in recognition of exceptional service of the highest order since it was instituted in 1954. The announcement was made by Rashtrapati Bhavan within hours after Tendulkar played his 200th Test.
An official statement said Tendulkar has been a true Ambassador of India in the world of sports and his achievements in cricket are unparalleled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. An outspoken scientist, Prof Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao is a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry who has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books. He is the third scientist after C V Raman and former President A P J Abdul Kalam to be given the Bharat Ratna. Prof Rao's contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships and has been honoured with several national and international awards, the official announcement said. He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. The Bharat Ratna was announced after a gap of four years with Hindustani music doyen Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient in 2009.