The move came after the Prime Minister's Office accepted the Home and Sports Ministries recommendation of broad basing the Bharat Ratna category. Earlier the country's highest civilian honour was restricted to fields such as advancement of Art, Literature and Science and in recognition of public service of the highest order.
According to media reports, the significant move will allow to confer Bharat Ratna for exceptional public service in any field of human endeavour, covering almost all the fields that had earlier remained out of the purview of this civilian award.
The move will pave way for champion cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Hockey wizard Dhyand Chand to be awarded with Bharat Ratna. Meanwhile, Sports Minister Ajay Maken had recently written to the Home Ministry seeking Bharat Ratna for master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
Meanwhile, the country's highest civilian honour has been conferred to 41 people including famous personalities like A P J Abdul Kalam, Lata Mangeshkar, J R D Tata. Among non-Indians who received the award were Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990). According to Parliamentary rule, Bharat Ratna can also be awarded to non-Indian people. Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was the last recipient of the award in 2009.