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15 Aug 2020

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Gallantry Awards
Important India GK Topics, India GK

Gallantry Awards 

2) Gallantry Awards:

Gallantry Awards are conferred by the Govt. of India to the soldiers of Indian army for their exceptional courage, valor and dignity. In the beginning, after India got independence, the Govt. of India instituted three gallantry awards: Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra on 26th January 1950. Later, other gallantry awards, which included Ashoka Chakra Class-I, Ashoka Chakra Class II, and Ashoka Chakra Class III were instituted by the Govt. of India on 4th January 1952. Later, these three awards were renamed the Ashoka Chakra, the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra, respectively in January 1967. The Gallantry Awards are announced twice in a year: on Republic Day and on Independence Day.

The Gallantry Awards can be divided into two categories: War Time Gallantry Awards and Peace Time Gallantry Awards.

War-Time Gallantry Awards: These awards are presented to the soldiers of the Indian Armed forces for their distinguished services, valor or courage during the war, on the battlefield while fighting and facing the enemy. The list of war-time gallantry awards is as follows:

  1. i) Param Vir Chakra:It is the highest war-time gallantry award conferred to army personnel for displaying exceptional courage and valor in the war. The meaning of the name of this award is “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”. It is introduced on 26thJanuary 1950 and is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States of America and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.

Design of Param Vir Chakra:

o   It is designed by Savitri Bai Khanolankar.

o   It has a circular shape and is 1.375 inches in diameter.

o   It is made of bronze and is suspended from a bar.

o   On the front side, it has four replicas of Indra’s Vajra that surround the national emblem.

o   On its reverse side the words “PARAM VIR CHAKRA” are embossed both in English and Hindi and are separated by two Lotus flowers; one on each side.

o   It is attached with a plain purple colored ribbon.  

Famous Recipients of Param Vir Chakra:

o   Major Somnath Sharma in 1947

o   Jadu Nath Singh in 1948

o   Yogendra Singh Yadav in 1999

o   Sanjay Kumar in 1999

o   Vikram Batra in 1999

ii). Maha Vir Chakra: It is the second highest war-time military award presented to the soldiers and officers of Indian Armed forces for their exceptional courage, and selflessness while facing and fighting the enemy on the battlefield.

Design:

o   It has a circular shape.

o   It is made of standard silver and is 1.375 inches in diameter.

o   On the front side, it is embossed with a five-pointed heraldic star and the state emblem with the motto in the centre-piece which is domed.

o   On its reverse side, the words “MAHA VIR CHAKRA” are embossed both in English and Hindi and are separated by two lotus flowers.

o   The medal is attached with a half-white and half-orange ribbon.

Famous Recipients of Maha Vir Chakra:

o   Lt. Colonel Dewan Ranjit Rai in 1947

o   Brigadier Narinder Singh Sandhu in 1971

o   Captain Anuj Nayyar in 1999

o   Captain Gurjinder Singh Suri in 2001

iii) Vir Chakra: It is the third highest war-time military award after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra. It is offered to the soldiers and officers of the Indian Armed forces for the acts of bravery in the battlefield.

Design:

o   It has a circular shape.

o   It is made of standard silver and is 1.375 inches in diameter.

o   On the first side, it is embossed with five-pointed heraldic star and a state emblem with motto at the centre.

o   On its reverse side the words “VIR CHAKRA” are embossed both in English and Hindi and two flowers are embossed between the words.

o   The medal is attached with a blue and half-orange colored ribbon.

Famous Recipients of Vir Chakra:

o   Subedar Nadikerianda Bheemaiah in 1947 for Kashmir War

o   Vice Adm Arun Prakash in 1947 for Operation Cactus Lily

o   Air Commodore Kuldeep Singh Sahota in 1972 for Pakistan war of 1971

o   Colonel Lalit Rai in 1999 for Operation Vijay in Kargil War

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

Peace-time Gallantry Awards: These awards are presented to the soldiers of the Indian Armed forces for their distinguished services, valor or courage during peace-time away from the battlefield. The list of peace-time gallantry awards is as follows:  

i) Ashoka Chakra: It is the highest peacetime gallantry award accorded for showing exceptional courage, valor or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. A civilian is also eligible to receive this award. The award is equivalent to the US Army’s peacetime Medal of Honor and the British George Cross.  

Design: The award is circular in shape, 1.375 inches in diameter, and is made of gild gold. It has rims on both sides. On the front side, in the centre, it is embossed with a replica of Ashoka Chakra surrounded by a lotus wreath. On the back side, two words “Ashoka Chakra” are embossed both in Hindi and English separated by the lotus flowers. The medal is worn on the left chest and is attached with a dark-green silk riband which is 3.2 cm in width. The riband is divided into two equal parts by an orange colored vertical line. Flt. Lt. Suhas Biswas, an Indian Air Force Officer, who was the first person to receive Ashoka Chakra.  

Famous Recipients of Ashoka Chakra:

  • Suhas Biswas in 1952
  • Cyrus Addie Pithawalla in 1981
  • Nirbhay Singh in 1985
  • Shanti Swarup Rana in 1997
  • Hangpan Dada in 2016
  • Jyoti Prakash Nirala in 2018

  ii) Kirti Chakra: It is a peacetime gallantry award which given for exceptional acts of courage away from the battlefield. It can be awarded to civilians. It is the second highest peacetime award after Ashoka Chakra.  
Design: It has a circular shape, 1 and 3/8 inches in diameter with rims on both sides, and is made of silver. In the front side, in the center, it is embossed with a replica of Ashoka Chakra which is surrounded with a lotus wreath. On the reverse side, it is embossed with two words ‘Kirti Chakra’ both in Hindi and English languages separated by two lotus flowers. The medal is worn on the left-side chest and is attached with a green riband which has a width of 3.2 cm and is divided into three equal parts by two orange colored vertical lines.  

Famous Recipients of Kirti Chakra:

  • ORD S/M Bachan Singh – 1962
  • PO TAS Gur Iqbal Singh (P) – 1974
  • IPS Ajit Doval in 1988
  • SP Vinod Kumar Choube in 2009
  • Major Mahesh Kumar in 2013
  • Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh (posthumous) in 2018

 iii) Shaurya Chakra: It is the third highest peace-time gallantry award which is awarded for an act of courage away from the battlefield. It can also be conferred to civilians.  

Design:   It is circular in shape, has a diameter of 1.375 cm and is made of bronze. The design on the front side is similar to Ashoka Chakra and on the reverse side the words “Shaurya Chakra” are embossed on it both in Hindi and English separated by lotus flowers on each side. It is worn on the left-side chest and is attached with a green silk riband with a width of 3.2 cm. The medal is divided into four equal parts by three orange colored vertical lines.  

Famous Recipients of Shaurya Chakra:

  • Colonel Neeraj Sood in 2011
  • Major Shalender in 2012
  • Captain Dinesh Kumar in 2013
  • Major Gaurav Thakur in 2014
  • Lt Col Sankalp Kumar in 2015
  • Major Aditya Kumar and Rifleman Aurangjeb in 2018

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