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All You Need To Know About Indian Gallantry Awards

On the basis of occasion and timing of the recipient, the awards are distinguished into different sections, which are wartime gallantry awards, peacetime gallantry awards and wartime/peacetime service awards

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Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross. Wikimedia Commons
Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross. Wikimedia Commons
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  • The prestigious awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day
  • Gallantry award is an honour bestowed on people for the various acts of valour and heroism
  • Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross

On 26th January 1950, Government of India instituted first three gallantry awards namely the Param Vir Chakra, the Maha Vir Chakra and the Vir Chakra. These awards were deemed to have effect from the 15th August 1947. After that, on 4th January 1952, the other three gallantry awards i.e. the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, Ashoka Chakra Class-II and Ashoka Chakra Class-III were recognized by the Government of India. These three medals were incorporated from 15th August 1947. But later on, these awards got their name changed as the Ashoka Chakra, the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra respectively in January 1967.

These prestigious awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day. On the order of merit, Param Vir Chakra stands out to be India’s highest gallantry award, followed by the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra. These medals are also known as ‘Military Medas’.

Gallantry Award Meaning

Gallantry is an old-fashioned word for courageous behaviour in a man, especially on the war front. Another aspect of gallantry is an extreme form of courtesy and respect towards people, often referred to as chivalry, and the two words are used interchangeably.Therefore, gallantry award is an honour bestowed on people for the various acts of valour and heroism. In India, there are various gallantry awards that are given away which could be earned in a battlefield.

Former Presiden, honorable K. R. Narayanan presenting the Param Vir Chakra posthumous to the father of Captain Vikram Batra 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Wikimedia Commons
Former Presiden, honourable K. R. Narayanan presenting the Param Vir Chakra posthumous to the father of Captain Vikram Batra 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles. Wikimedia Commons

On the basis of occasion and timing of the recipient, the awards are distinguished into different sections, which are wartime gallantry awards, peacetime gallantry awards and wartime/peacetime service awards.

Wartime gallantry awards

  • Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross
  • The second highest military decoration in India is Maha Vir Chakra. It is awarded for acts of noticeable courage in the enemy presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
  • Vir Chakra is third in the ranking of the awards for wartime gallantry

Also Read: All you want to know about the ranks in Indian army

Peacetime gallantry awards

  • Ashok Chakra is awarded in the peacetime and is equivalent to the Param Vir Chakra. The Indian military decoration award is given for courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
  • Kirti Chakra is the second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.
  • Shaurya Chakra follows Kirti Chakra in terms of peacetime gallantry awards.

Wartime/Peacetime service awards

Sena Medal / Nao Sena Medal / Vayusena Medal

Wartime Distinguished Service

Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal

Uttam Yudh Seva Medal

Yudh Seva Medal

Peacetime Distinguished Service

Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

Vishisht Seva Medal

Incarnations Of The Medals

PARAM VIR CHAKRA

The Medal bears a circular shape and made of bronze. The size of the medal goes as one and three eighth inches in diameter and has four replicas of “Indra’s Vajra”. “PARAM VIR CHAKRA” is embossed on the back side of the medal. The inscription is both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the Hindi and the English inscriptions.

Ribbon: Plain purple coloured ribbon.

Bar: If the recipient again acts with the similar valour and make him or her eligible again to receive the Chakra, such further act of bravery is recorded by a Bar attached to the riband. For additional such act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added and has to be awarded posthumously.

Captain Vikram Batra was conferred Param Vir Chakra in 1999 for extraordinary act of courage. Wikimedia Commons
Captain Vikram Batra was conferred with Param Vir Chakra in 1999 for an extraordinary act of courage. Wikimedia Commons

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

Somnath Sharma- 1947

Jadu Nath Singh- 1948

Yogendra Singh Yadav- 1999

Sanjay Kumar- 1999

Vikram Batra-1999

MAHAVIR CHAKRA

Medal:  The medal is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. When it comes to the dimension goes as one and three eighth inches in diameter and has a five-pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim. The star shall have domed gilded State Emblem in the centre. Behind of the medal, “MAHA VIR CHAKRA” is embossed both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions.

Ribbon: The ribbon is of a half-white and half-orange colour.

Bar: If the recipient again performs such an act of bravery which makes him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such act shall be recorded by a Bar. For every similar act of bravery, an additional bar is added, and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously.

The Maha Vir Chakra is circular in shape and made up of standard silver.Wikimedia Commons
The Maha Vir Chakra is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. Wikimedia Commons

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai – 1947

Brigadier Narinder Singh Sandhu – 1971

Captain Anuj Nayyar – 1999

Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri – 2001

VIR CHAKRA

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. The size of this medal stands at one and three eighth inches in diameter and has a five-pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim. The star is in the centre a Chakra and within that is a domed centrepiece bearing the gilded State Emblem. On the back side, “VIR CHAKRA” is embossed both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions.

Ribbon: The ribbon is of half blue and half orange in colour.

Bar: If the recipient again performs such an act of bravery which makes him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such an act shall be recorded by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended. For every such additional act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added, and be awarded posthumously.

The Vir Chakra’s ribbon is of half blue and half orange in colour. Wikimedia Commons
The Vir Chakra’s ribbon is of half blue and half orange in colour. Wikimedia Commons

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

Subedar Nadikerianda Bheemaiah – 1947 for Kashmir War

Vice Adm Arun Prakash – 1971 for Operation Cactus Lily

Air Commodore Kuldeep Singh Sahota – 1972 for Pakistan war of 1971

Colonel Lalit Rai – 1999 for Operation Vijay (1999), Kargil War

Capt. Baleyada Muthanna Cariappa – 2000 for Operation Vijay, Kargil War

Also Read: Here’s the list of all the important awards you need to know at one place

ASHOKA CHAKRA

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and made up of gold gild. The size of the medal goes as one and three eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. The imprinted replica of Ashoka Chakra in the centre of the one side, surrounded by a lotus wreath. On the back side is “Ashok Chakra” embossed in both in Hindi and English and are being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green colour ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line.

Bar: If the recipient again performs such that would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra then the act of gallantry shall be recognised by a Bar. For every subsequent act of gallantry, an additional Bar shall be added and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously.

Ashok Chakra is a green colour ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line. Wikimedia Commons
Ashok Chakra is a green colour ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line. Wikimedia Commons

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

Suhas Biswas – 1952

Cyrus Addie Pithawalla – 1981

Nirbhay Singh – 1985

Shanti Swarup Rana – 1997

Hangpan Dada – 2016

KIRTI CHAKRA

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. The size of the medal goes as one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. On the side of the medal is embossed a replica of Kirti Chakra, surrounded by a lotus wreath. On the back side, the words “KIRTI CHAKRA” are embossed both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green colour ribbon on the medal is divided into three equal parts by two orange vertical lines.

Bar: If a recipient again displays a similar act of gallantry which makes him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, then the act of gallantry is recognised by a Bar. An additional Bar shall be added and such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously.

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

ORD S/M Bachan Singh – 1962

PO TAS I Gur Iqbal Singh (P) – 1974

IPS Ajit Doval – 1988

SP Vinod Kumar Choubey – 2009

Major Mahesh Kumar – 2013

The Kirti Chakra is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. Wikimedia Commons
The Kirti Chakra is circular in shape and made up of standard silver. Wikimedia Commons

SHAURYA CHAKRA

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and made up of bronze. The size goes as one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. On the sides is embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath. On the back side, the words “SHAURYA CHAKRA” are embossed both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green colour ribbon divided into four equal parts by three vertical lines.

Bar: If the recipient again performs such an act of gallantry which makes him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, then the act of gallantry is recognised by a Bar. For a similar act of gallantry, an additional Bar is added and such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously.

Some important Gallantry Award Winners

Colonel Neeraj Sood – 2011

Major Shalender – 2012

Captain Dinesh Kumar – 2013

Major Gaurav Thakur – 2014

Lt Col Sankalp Kumar – 2015

Also Read: Udhampur Bravehearts honoured with gallantry award

Selection Process for Gallantry Awards

  • The recommendation for gallantry awards is invited by the Ministry of Defence twice in a year from the Armed Forces and Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The gallantry awards are normally invited in the month of August for the awards to be announced on the occasion of the Republic Day.
  • The recommendations are invited in the month of March for the awards to be announced on the occasion of the Independence Day.
Lt Col Sankalp Kumar was honoured with Shaurya Chakra for showing exemplary valour in 2015. Wikimedia Commons
Lt Col Sankalp Kumar was honoured with Shaurya Chakra for showing exemplary valour in 2015. Wikimedia Commons

The main process is as follows:

  • In case of the Armed Forces, the initiative for the gallantry award is initiated by the Unit.
  • If the recommendations are found fit immediately after the act of gallantry is performed, then it is forwarded to respective Services HQrs duly recommended by Commanders.
  • Before recommending the proposals to the Ministry of Defence, the recommended names are then considered by the Awards Committee at Services HQs with the due approval of the respective Chiefs.
  • The recommendations from civilian citizens other than Defence personnel are formulated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
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Rajnath Singh: Government is Willing to Double The Healthcare Budget

Government may soon double the healthcare budget, says Rajnath Singh

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh
FILE IMAGE- Rajnath Singh.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the government is willing to more than double the share of healthcare sector to 2.5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

“Currently, the government spends 1.16 per cent of the country’s GDP on the healthcare sector. However, the Prime Minister has said the budget for healthcare can increase up to 2.5 per cent of the GDP,” Rajnath Singh said at the 64th Founder’s Day celebrations of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital here.

He said providing healthcare facility for the population of 125 crore “is not easy”. Challenges relate to both medical infrastructure and services including severe shortages of doctors, nurses and hospitals, he said, giving out comparative statistics of healthcare in India and the world.

Budget of Healthcare for 2018
Healthcare Budget 2018.

In India, for every 1,000 persons, there are 0.6 doctors, 0.8 nurses and 1.5 beds, whereas the world average is 1.2 doctors, 0.8 nurses and four beds, said the minister.

Citing Ayushman Bharat that promises to provide health coverage to 10 crore vulnerable families with an insurance of Rs 5 lakh per family per year, Rajnath Singh said: “This would require infrastructure. The government is working towards it so as to ensure affordable and universal healthcare.”

“Heavy investment would be required. The government will increase its investment in both preventive and promotive healthcare. But it is not possible for the government to do this alone. We are encouraging the private sector. We see them as strategic partners,” he said.

Also Read: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh approves use of chilli-based PAVA shells as alternative to Pellet Guns for Crowd Controlling

Stressing that a “Healthy India” is a must to build a strong and prosperous India, he said that the Narendra Modi government is trying to provide free diagnosis and free emergency care at all government hospitals, even as it is planning big on medical tourism for people coming to India for treatment.

The Minister said several steps have been taken towards boosting medical tourism such as extending e-Visa to 161 countries and extending the duration of stay on e-Visa from 30 to 60 days allowing for triple entry in e-Medical Visa cases.

On Sir Ganga Ram and his hospital that was first established in Lahore in 1921 and later in Delhi in 1954, Rajnath Singh said: “He had a big heart. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is the only institution that exists by the same name in our country and neighbouring Pakistan.”  IANS