The award was instituted by the Punjab Bhasha Vibhag.
Bhatia won the award for his outstanding contribution to Punjabi literature, both as a writer and a critic. In the past, he has received several other awards at the national and international level, the most prestigious ones being Dr Ravinder Singh Ravi Yadgari Puruskar and Dr Joginder Singh Rahi Yadgari Award.
Bhatia is currently a member of the Janpith Award Committee besides being on the Sahitya Academy Advisory Board. He has to his credit 21 books and publications besides about 100 research papers.
"This is a rare honour as my contribution as a critic of Punjabi literature has finally won recognition," Bhatia said. "It is also a moment of pride for GNDU and I thank all my colleagues and students in the department for this achievement."