“Karnataka Ratna” is the highest civilian award of Karnataka. It is awarded in recognition of a person’s extraordinary contribution in any field. The award is sponsored by the Government of Karnataka.
In recent times this award has become the talk of town. It gained more attention last year after the death of Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar. The legend actor died last year due to heart attack. Due to his numerous social works and the way he had touched people of every strata, the public demanded the Government to honour the late actor with the award. The Government also responded to people’s demand and announced to honour the late actor with “Karnataka Ratna Award”. Three days back on Tuesday November 1 on the day of Kannada Rajyotsava the Government honoured the late actor with “Karnataka Ratna Award”. He is the tenth person to receive this honour.
Karnataka Ratna award was instituted in the year 1992 by Late Chief Minister S. Bangarappa. The Award comes with a gold medal, a citation, a memento and a shawl.
From 1992 till date including Puneet Rajkumar total ten people have been honoured with Karnataka Ratna Award. Interestingly Puneet Rajkumar’s father late legendary Kannada Actor Dr. Rajkumar was the first recipient of this award along with Notable Poet Kuvempu.
The recipients of Karnataka Ratna Award are:
• In 1992 Dr. Rajkumar and Notable Poet Kuvempu was honoured with this award for their outstanding service for field of Cinema and Literature, respectively.
• In 1999 famous Politician S. Nijalingappa was honoured with Karnataka Ratna for his outstanding service as politician. He had also served as Chief Minister of Karnataka.
• In the year 2000 C. N. R. Rao was conferred with Karnataka Ratna for his contribution in the field of Science.
• In 2005 Famous musician Bhimsen Joshi was honoured with Karnataka Ratna Award for his contribution to the world of music. He also received Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the year 2009.
• Shri Shiva Kumara Swamiji, also received Karnataka Ratna for his outstanding contribution in the field of Education and Social Service.
• Dr. J. Javaregowda, Notable Writer and Educationist was also conferred with the award in the year 2008.
• In the year 2009, Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Dharmastala was honoured with Karnataka Ratna for his outstanding contribution towards Education, Health and Social Service.
• In the year 2001 famous surgeon, Chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya Dr. Devi Shetty was honoured with Karnataka Ratna for his service in the Medical field.
• This year Late actor Puneet Rajkumaar has been honoured with the award.