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INDIAN AWARDS & HONORS



Bharat Ratna Face  Bharat Ratna Obverse
 

 
Indian Patriotic Awards:
Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna (translates to Jewel of India or Gem of India in English) is India's highest civilian award, awarded for the highest degrees of national service. This service includes artistic, literary, and scientific achievements, as well as "recognition of public service of the highest order." Unlike knights, holders of the Bharat Ratna carry no special title nor any other honorifics, but they do have a place in the Indian order of precedence. The award was established by the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad, on January 2, 1954. Along with other major national honours, such as the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the awarding of the Bharat Ratna was suspended from July 13, 1977 to January 26, 1980. The honour has been awarded to forty persons, a list which includes two non-Indians and a naturalized Indian citizen. Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are the states with the most number of awardees (7 each). Originally, the specifications for the award called for a circular gold medal carrying the state emblem and motto, among other things. It is uncertain if a design in accordance with the original specifications was ever made. The actual award is designed in the shape of a peepul leaf and carries with the words "Bharat Ratna", inscribed in Devanagari script. The reverse side of the medal carries the state emblem and motto. The award is attached to a two-inch long ribbon, and was designed to be worn around the recipient's neck.
 
Gandhi Peace Prize
The International Gandhi Peace Prize, named after Mahatma Gandhi, is awarded annually by the government of India.

As a tribute to the ideals espoused by Gandhi, the Government of India launched the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This is an annual award given to individuals and institutions for their contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods. The award carries Rs. 10 million in cash, convertible in any currency in the world, a plaque and a citation. It is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, creed or sex.

A jury consisting of the Prime Minister of India, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India and two other eminent persons decides the awardee each year.

Ordinarily, only proposals coming from competent persons invited to nominate are considered. However, a proposal is not taken as invalid for consideration by the jury merely on the ground of not having emanated from competent persons. If, however, it is considered that none of the proposals merit recognition, the jury is free to withhold the award for that year. Only achievements within 10 years immediately preceding the nomination are considered for the award; an older work may, however, be considered if its significance has not become apparent until recently. A written work, in order to be eligible for consideration, should have been published.
 

 
 

 Padma Vibhushan Face  Padma Vibhushan Obverse
Padma Vibhushan
The Padma Vibhushan is India's second highest civilian honour. It consists of a medal and a citation and is awarded by the President of India.

It is awarded to recognize exceptional and distinguished service to the nation in any field, including government service.
The award was suspended between 1977 and 1980. No award was made between 1992 and 1998 as well.

The award was established by Presidential decree on 2 January 1954. It comes after the Bharat Ratna and before the Padma Bhushan. Padma Vibhushan was originally established as the Pahela Varg (First Class) of a three-class "Padma Vibhushan" awards. However the structure was changed in 1955 and there is no record of the award being presented to any of the recipients in the original structure.
 
Padma Bhushan
The Padma Bhushan award is an Indian civilian decoration established on January 2, 1954 by the President of India. It stands third in the hierarchy of civilian awards, after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan, but comes before the Padma Sri. It is awarded to recognize distinguished service of a high order to the nation, in any field.
 

Padma Bhushan Face  Padma Bhushan Obverse 
 

Padma Shri Face  Padma Shri Obverse
Padma Shri
Padma Shri (also spelt Padma Shree, Padmashree, Padma Sree and Padma Sri) is an award given by the Government of India generally to Indian citizens to recognize their distinguished contribution in various spheres of activity including the Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Social Service and public life. (The word "Padma" (Sanskrit) means "Lotus".)

It stands fourth in the hierarchy of civilian awards after the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan and the Padma Bhushan. On its obverse, the words "Padma" and "Shri", in Devanagari, appear above and below the lotus flower. The geometrical pattern on either side is in burnished bronze. All embossing is in white gold.

In 1960 Dr.M.G.Ramachandran refused to accept the award as the wordings of the award is in Hindi.

As of February 2008, 2095 people have received the award.

 
Pravasi Bharatiya Samman
The Pravasi Bharatiya Samman is an award constituted by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in conjunction with the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, to honor exceptional and meritorious contribution in their chosen field/profession. The award is given by the President of India.
 
 
  Dadasaheb Phalke Award
The Dadasaheb Phalke Award is an annual award given by the Indian government for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It was instituted in 1969, the birth centenary year of Dadasaheb Phalke, considered the father of Indian cinema.

The award for a particular year is given during the end of the following year along with the National Film Awards. The Bombay High Court had directed the Directorate of Film Festivals of India (DFFI) to consider uncensored films for the competition, a case which DFFI contested and won in the Supreme Court in late 2006.
 
   
Military Gallantry Medals:
Param Vir Chakra

The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy, similar to the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor. It can be awarded posthumously with many of the awards having been awarded posthumously.

Param Vir means "Bravest of the Brave" in Sanskrit. (Param = Highest; Vīr = Brave (warrior); Chakra = wheel/medal).

The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (the date of India becoming a republic), by the President of India, with effect from 15 August 1947 (the date of Indian independence). It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna (amendment in the statute on 26 January 1980 resulted in this order of wearing). It replaced the former British colonial Victoria Cross (VC), (see List of Indian Victoria Cross recipients).

Provision was made for the award of a bar for second (or subsequent) awards of the Param Vir Chakra. To date, there have been no such awards. Award of the decoration carries with it the right to use P.V.C. as a post-nominal abbreviation.

The award also carries a cash allowance for those under the rank of lieutenant (or the appropriate service equivalent) and, in some cases, a cash award. On the death of the recipient, the pension is transferred to the widow until her death or remarriage. The paltry amount of the pension has been a rather controversial issue throughout the life of the decoration. By March 1999, the stipend stood at Rs. 1500 per month. In addition, many states have established individual pension rewards that far exceeds the central government's stipend for the recipients of the decoration.

Subedar Major Bana Singh of the Eighth Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry was the only serving personnel of the Indian defence establishment with a Param Vir Chakra till the Kargil operations.
 

Param Vir Chakra

Ashoka Chakra
Ashoka Chakra
The Ashoka Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for the "most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice" other than in the face of the enemy. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel and may be awarded posthumously.

Subsequent awards of the Ashoka Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon (to date, none have been awarded). It is possible for a recipient to be awarded the Kirti Chakra or Shaurya Chakra in addition for separate acts of gallantry.

The medal was originally established on 4 January 1952 as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class I" as the first step of a three-class sequence of non-combatant bravery decorations. In 1967, these decorations were removed from the "class-based" system and renamed as the Ashoka Charkra, Kirti Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra. This is an important point in understanding the independent Indian view of decorations. It would also lead to changes in the Padma Vibhushan series, the distinguished service medal series, the life saving medal series, and the Defence Security Corps medal series.

From 1 February 1999, the central government instituted a monthly stipend for Ashoka Chakra recipients of Rs. 1400. Jammu and Kashmir awarded a cash award of Rs. 1500 (ca. 1960) for recipients of this award.

Obverse: Circular gold gilt, 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In the center, the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka, surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. Suspended by a straight bar suspender. The medal is named on the edge.
Reverse: Blank in the center, with "Ashoka Chakra" in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim, "ASHOKA CHAKRA". On either side is a lotus design. The center is blank, perhaps with the intent that details of the award be engraved there. There is no indication of the class on the pre-1967 awards, and, in fact, there is no difference between these medals and the post-1967 awards.
Ribbon: 32 mm, dark green with a 2 mm central saffron stripe. Dark green 15 mm, saffron 2 mm, dark green 15 mm.
 
Maha Vir Chakra
The Maha Vira Chakra (MVC) is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It may be awarded posthumously. Literally Maha Vira Chakra means Great Hero Wheel. In Sanskrit Maha = Great, Vira = Hero and Chakra = Wheel. The medal is made of standard silver and is circular in shape. Embossed on the obverse is a five pointed heraldic star with circular center-piece bearing the gilded state emblem of India in the center. The words "Mahavira Chakra" are embossed in Devanagari and English on the reverse with two lotus flowers in the middle. The decoration is worn on the left breast with a half-white and half-orange riband about 3.2 cm in width, the orange being near the left shoulder.

More than 155 acts of bravery and selfless courage have been recognized since the inception of the medal. The most MVCs awarded in a single conflict was in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, when eleven were given to the Indian Air Force.

Provision was made for the award of a bar for a second award of the Maha Vira Chakra, the first two being awarded in 1965. To date, there are six known awards of a first bar: Wing Commander Jag Mohan Nath (1962 and 1 September 1965), Major General Rajindar Singh (19 March 1948 and 6 September 1965), General Arun Shridhar Vaidya (16 September 1965 and 5 December 1971), Wing Commander Padmanabha Gautam (6 September 1965 and 5 December 1971 [posthumous]), Colonel Chewang Rinchen (July 1948 and 8 December 1971), and Brigadier Sant Singh (2 November 1965 and January 1972),. No second bars have been awarded. Award of the decoration carried with it the right to use M.V.C. as a postnominal abbreviation.
 

Maha Vir Chakra

Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra
Vira Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield. Award of the decoration carried with it the right to use Vr.C. as a postnominal abbreviation (note the care to distinguish this abbreviation from that for the Victoria Cross (V.C.). It is third in precedence in the war time gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.

Provision was made for the award of a bar for a second award of the Vira Chakra, with the first three awards of such a bar coming in 1948.

The award carries with it a cash allowance and, in some cases, a lump sum cash award. This has been a rather controversial issue throughout the life of the decoration. From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 850 for recipients of the award. In addition, many states have established individual pension rewards for the recipients of the decoration.

Established: Established by the President of India on 26 January 1950 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were amended 12 January 1952 to readjust the order of wearing as new decorations were established.

Obverse: 1-3/8 inch circular silver medal. A five pointed star, with the chakra in the center, and, on this, the domed gilded state emblem. The decoration is named on the rim and suspended from a swiveling straight-bar suspender. The decoration is almost always named and dated on the edge.
Reverse: Around a plain center, two legends separated by lotus flowers; above Vir Chakra in Hindi and in English.
Ribbon: 32 mm, half dark blue and half orange-saffron. Dark blue 16 mm, saffron 16 mm.

 
Shaurya Chakra
Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, sometimes posthumously. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Vir Chakra. It is generally awarded for Counter-Insurgency ops & actions against the enemy during peace-time. It is third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards and comes after Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra. It precedes the Sena Medal. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class III.

Subsequent awards of the Shaurya Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon (to date, none have been awarded). It is possible for a recipient to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra or Kirti Chakra in addition for separate acts of gallantry.

From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 750 for recipients of the award. Jammu and Kashmir awards a cash award of Rs. 700 (ca. 1960) for recipients of the Shaurya Chakra.

Established: Established as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class III" by the President of India, 4 January 1952 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were revised and the decoration renamed on 27 January 1967.

Obverse: Circular bronze, 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In the center, the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka, surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. Suspended by a straight bar suspender. The medal is named on the edge.
Reverse: For pre-1967 awards, the medal is blank in the center, with "Ashoka Chakra" in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim, "ASHOKA CHAKRA". On either side is a lotus design. The center is blank, perhaps with the intent that details of the award be engraved there. There is no indication of the class on the pre-1967 awards. For the post-1967 awards, the, names are changed to "Shauryua Chakra" in Hindi above and "SHAURYA CHAKRA" below.
Ribbon: 30 mm, dark green with three 2 mm orange stripes. Dark green 6 mm, orange 2 mm, dark green 6 mm, orange 2 mm, dark green 6 mm, orange 2 mm, dark green 6 mm.

 

Shaurya Chakra

Kirti Chakra
Kirti Chakra
Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.

Subsequent awards of the Kirti Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon (to date, none have been awarded). It is possible for a recipient to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra or Shaurya Chakra in addition for separate acts of gallantry.

From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 1050 for recipients of the award. Jammu and Kashmir awards a cash award of Rs. 1000 (ca. 1960) for recipients of the Kirti Chakra.

Established: Established as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class II" by the President of India, 4 January 1952 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were revised and the decoration renamed on 27 January 1967.

Obverse: Circular silver, 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In the center, the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka, surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. Suspended by a straight bar suspender. The medal is named on the edge.
Reverse: For pre-1967 awards, the medal is blank in the center, with "Ashoka Chakra" in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim, "ASHOKA CHAKRA". On either side is a lotus design. The center is blank, perhaps with the intent that details of the award be engraved there. There is no indication of the class on the pre-1967 awards. For the post-1967 awards, the, names are changed to "Kirti Chakra" in Hindi above and "KIRTI CHAKRA" below.
Ribbon: 30 mm, dark green with two 2 mm saffron stripes. Dark green 8.5 mm, saffron 2 mm, dark green 9 mm, saffron 2 mm, dark green 8.5 mm.
 
Military Distinguished Service Medals:
Param Vishisht Seva Medal

Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal