Wartime and Peacetime Gallantry Awards [Full List]

The art of appreciating the brave and gallant is not new. They form one of the most important constituents of a nation’s stability. History defines gallantry as commanded respect and appreciation. Post-independence, first three gallantry awards namely Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra were instituted by the Government of India. On 26th January, 1950 which were deemed to have effect from the 15th August, 1947. Other three gallantry awards i.e. the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, the Ashoka Chakra Class-II and the Ashoka Chakra Class-III were instituted by the Government of India on 4th January, 1952, which were deemed to have effect from the 15th August, 1947. These awards were renamed as the Ashoka Chakra, the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra respectively in January, 1967.

Wartime and Peacetime Gallantry Awards

Param Vir Chakra

  • Awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice.
  • Awarded For national bravery in the presence of enemy.
  • The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
  • Matrons, Sisters, Nurses and the staff of the Nursing Services and other Service pertaining to Hospitals and Nursing, and Civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned Forces.
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape.
  • Made of bronze.
  • One and three eighth inches in diameter.
  • On obverse four replicas of ‘Indra’s Vajra’ with the State Emblem (including the motto) embossed in the centre.
  • On its reverse, it shall have embossed Param Vir Chakra both in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers between Hindi and English.
  • The fitting will be swivel mounting.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • Plain purple coloured ribbon.

Maha Vir Chakra

  • It is the second highest military decoration in India.
  • The Maha Vir Chakra is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy whether on land, at sea or in the air.
  • The medal may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers and men and women of all ranks of the Naval, Military and Air Forces, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
  • Matrons, Sisters, Nurses and the Staff of the Nursing Services and other Services pertaining to Hospitals and Nursing, and Civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned Forces.
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape and Made of silver.
  • One and three eighth inches in diameter.
  • Shall have embossed on the obverse a five-pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim.
  • The star shall have in the centre a domed gilded State Emblem.
  • On the reverse, it shall have embossed “MAHA VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the Hindi and the English inscriptions.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • The ribbon is of a half-white and half-orange colour.

Vir Chakra

  • The Vir Chakra is awarded for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land or at sea or in the air.
  • The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers and men and women of all ranks of the Naval, Military and Air Forces, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
  • Matrons, Sisters, Nurses and the Staff of the Nursing Services and other Services pertaining to Hospitals and Nursing, and Civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned Forces.
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape
  • Made of standard silver
  • and is embossed on the obverse a five pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim.
  • The State Emblem (including motto) is embossed in the centre-piece which is domed.
  • The star is polished and the centre piece is in gold gilt.
  • On the reverse it will have embossed Vir Chakra both in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers between Hindi and English wording.
  • The fitting is swivel mounting.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • Ribbon – The ribbon is of half blue and half orange in colour.

Ashok Chakra

  • The Ashoka Chakra is awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice otherwise than in the face of the enemy.
  • It is India’s highest peacetime military decoration.
  • The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers and men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted forces.
  • Members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces.
  • Civilian citizens of either sex in all walks of life and members of Police Forces including Central Para-Military Forces and Railway Protection Force
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape.
  • One and three eighth inches in diameter and will be of gold-gilt.
  • On the obverse, it shall have embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre surrounded by a lotus wreath.
  • On its reverse shall be embossed the words ‘Ashoka Chakra’ both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • Green colour ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line.

Kirti Chakra

  • Second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.
  • Awarded for conspicuous gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy.
  • The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted forces. Members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces.
  • Civilian citizens of either sex in all walks of life, other than members of Police Forces and of recognized Fire Services.
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape
  • And of standard silver
  • One and three-eighth inches in diameter.
  • On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath.
  • On its reverse shall be embossed the words “KIRTI CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English, the versions being separated by two lotus flowers.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • Green colour ribbon divided into three equal parts by two orange vertical lines.
  • Some of the Kirti Chakra Winners

Shaurya Chakra

  • Awarded for gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy.
  • The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
  • Eligible Categories-
  • Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Forces.
  • Members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces.
  • Civilian citizens of either sex in all walks of life and members of Police Forces including Central Para-Military Forces and Railway Protection Force.
  • Design of The Medal –
  • Circular in shape & Made of bronze
  • One and three-eighth inches in diameter.
  • On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath.
  • Along the rim, on the inner side, shall be a pattern of lotus leaves, flowers and buds.
  • On its reverse shall be embossed the words “SHAURYA CHAKRA” both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.
  • Design of Ribbon –
  • Green colour ribbon divided into four equal parts by three vertical lines.

Sakshi Sahu

    Senior Lecturer, General Knowledge, SSBCrackExams, Master's in Politics and International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi, Bachelor's in Commerce and Computer Applications from DAVV Indore, Former research fellow at Ministry of women and Child Development New Delhi, 1 Year teaching experience (UPSC CSE).

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