BSS, New Delhi : India’s sports icon, Sachin Tendulkar, was conferred with the Indian highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna by President Pranab Mukherjee in a ceremony on Tuesday. Legendary cricketer Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket on November 16 last year, will be the first sportsman to be bestowed with the honour by the President at a function held in “Durbar Hall” of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Apart from the Little Master, eminent scientist Prof CNR Rao was also be conferred with the Bharat Ratna for his exceptional service in the field of science. Tendulkar (40) and Rao (79), both of whom are recipients of Padma Vibhushan — India’s second highest civilian honour, join a list of 41 eminent personalities who have been conferred with the award that is given in recognition of exceptional service of the highest order since it was instituted in 1954. In a fitting finale to a record-breaking career spanning 24 years, Tendulkar, a former India Captain, was chosen for the prestigious award, after his farewell 200th Test against the West Indies in Mumbai on November 16, 2013. An official statement had 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. “That he has been honoured with several awards is testimony to his extraordinary brilliance as a sportsman,” it said, noting that Tendulkar has played cricket across the world and won laurels for the country during the last 24 years since a young age of 16. Tendulkar is also the first active sportsperson to become a Rajya Sabha member last year. The Bharat Ratna was announced after a gap of four years with Hindustani music doyen Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient in 2009. Incidently, Indian Home Ministry today came out with guidelines about Bharat Ratna saying the award cannot be used as a prefix or suffix to the recipient’s name under the Constitution. However, the award winner can use mention as “Awarded Bharat Ratna by the President” or “Recipient of Bharat Ratna Award” in their bio-datas, letter head or visiting cards. The recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. It does not carry any monetary grant.