(Ornament of the Nation)
|Awarded by the Rashtradhyaksh|
|Type||Third highest civilian honorific|
|Awarded for||"distinguished service of a high order” without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex|
|Established||19 July 2021|
6 August 2023 (major changes)
|Next (higher)||Raj Vibhushan|
|Next (lower)||National Artist of Vishwamitra|
Raj Bhushan (Hindi: राज भूषण) meaning Ornament of the Nation is the third highest civilian honorific title of Vishwamitra ranking below Raj Vibhushan. The title is bestowed on an individual for "distinguished service of a high order" without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The title is at the sole pleasure and discretion of the sovereign. The title-holders shall be entitled to the style of address as "The Honourable".
The total number of appointments as Raj Vibhushan shall be limited to 20 individuals in a year. Members of the royal families can also be appointed as title-holders and shall be counted as extranumerary individuals. The title can also be conferred on foreign nationals only in an exceptional case and shall be considered as supernumerary appointees.
The title was first created in the form of the Bhushan Ratna which was the third highest civilian decoration of Friends Society from 2015 until 2019. The title was reconstituted on 19 July 2021 by Rashtradhyaksh Dhrubajyoti Roy through ROYAL DECREE No. - 193/2021: in order to recognize the highest and significant contributions made by individuals towards the nation. The title of Raj Bhushan was created along with the title of Raj Ratna. At the time of its constitution, the title was bestowed only upon non-royals and foreigners, in an exceptional capacity. Members of the royal families were forbidden from becoming a title-holder.
On 6 August 2023, the national peerage was abolished by the Rashtradhyaksh and a three-tier honorific system was introduced through a gazette notification. Under the changes initiated, the title of Raj Bhushan was re-designated as the third highest civilian honorific title in the nation and is to bestowed upon an individual for "distinguished service of a high order" without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex. The title is conferrable at the sole pleasure and discretion of the sovereign and all title-holders are to be entitled to the style of address as "The Honourable".
All the title-holders are entitled to use the title as a prefix before their names and the honorific styles of the various orders of chivalry.
All recipients of the title of Raj Bhushan are entitled to bear special perks and privileges. They are entitled to bear the style of address of The Honourable.
In a separate notification issued by the Chief Herald Arthur Lacey-Scott-FitzLacia on 6 August 2023, all title-holders of Raj Bhushan are to be entitled to use the heraldic baronial coronet which was formerly used by a baron or baroness in the nobility.
First creation (2021–2023)
The title of Raj Bhushan had been granted on fifteen distinguished individual following its first constitution in 2021, of whom six were later conferred with the title of Raj Ratna. The title-holders were deprived of the title upon its re-designation in 2023.
Note: "*" those who were later promoted as Raj Ratna
- 19 July 2021: Michal Nowacki, former Deputy Prime Minister*
- 19 July 2021: Farhaz Hazarika, Prime Minister*
- 19 July 2021: Chris Ramsay, former President of Privy Council*
- 19 July 2021: Jayden Dagsa, former President of Privy Council*
- 19 July 2021: Phillip Joseph Pillin, former Prime Minister*
- 19 July 2021: Abrams Wiucki-Dunswed, former Chief of Defence Staff
- 19 July 2021: Matthew Griffin, former Privy Councilor
- 1 August 2021: Rory Leonard, former Deputy Prime Minister*
- 1 August 2021: Sander Koff, former Chief of Naval Staff
- 11 January 2022: Charles Burgardt, former Minister
- 11 January 2022: Tyler Mullins, former Speaker of Lok Sabha
- 11 January 2022: Arturo Lara, former Minister
- 1 August 2022: Arthur Lacey-Scott-FitzLacia, Deputy Prime Minister
- 1 August 2022: Rafe Burfield, former Minister
- 1 August 2022: Arsal Abbas Mirza, Speaker of Lok Sabha
Second creation (2023–present)
Four distinguished individuals were appointed as Raj Ratnas upon the title's re-designation on 6 August 2023.
- 6 August 2023: Princess Bishakha of Purvanchal
- 6 August 2023: Arnab Deka, Governor of Purvanchal
- 6 August 2023: Rafe Burfield, former Minister
- 6 August 2023: Devin Purcell, Leader of Opposition
- 6 August 2023: Preetam Kapei, Minister