October 31, 2013

Military Awards of India - General Knowledge

Indian honours and awards can be divided into two categories :
(a)   Gallantry awards.
(b)   Non-gallantry awards.

The gallantry awards are again divisible into two categories:
(a)   Those for gallantry in the face of the enemy.
(b)   Those for gallantry other than in the face of the enemy.

The first category of the gallantry awards comprises :
1.  Param Vir Chakra: It is India's highest military decoration similar to the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor or Russian Cross of St. George. It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the also the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna. The medal is a circular bronze disc 1.375 inches in diameter. The state emblem appears in the center, on a raised circle. Surrounding this, four replicas of Indra's Vajra. The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar. It is named on the edge. On the rear, around a plain center, are two legends separated by lotus flowers. The words Param Vir Chakra are written in Hindi and English. A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) long, holds the Param Vir Chakra. The medal symbolizes Rishi Dadhichi, who had donated his bones to the Gods for making Vajra.

 2. Maha Vir Chakra: It is the second highest military decoration in India.  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.

 3.    Vir Chakra: Vir Chakra is the third highest Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield.  The medal is 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. Around a plain center, two legends separated by lotus flowers; above Vir Chakra in Hindi and in English. The ribbon is 32 mm, half dark blue and half orange-saffron. Dark blue 16 mm, saffron 16 mm.
 4.    Sena, Nao Sena and Vayu Sena Medal.
 5.    Mention in Dispatches.
 6.    Chiefs of Staff Commendation Card.

 The second category of the gallantry awards comprise the following :
   1.    Ashoka Chakra *
    2.    Kirti Chakra *
   3.    Shaurya Chakra *  

* These were originally named Ashoka Chakra Class I, Class II, Class III

Among non-gallantry awards, the following can be mentioned :
1)      Bharat Ratna.
2)      Padma Vibhushan.
3)      Padma Bhushan.
4)      Param Vishisht Seva Medal.
5)      Padma Shri.
6)      Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal.
7)      Uttam Yudh Seva Medal.
8)      Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.
9)      Yudh Seva Medal.
10)   Vishisht Seva Medal.
11)   30 Years Long Seva Medal.
12)   20 Years Long Service Medal.
13)   9 Years Long Service Medal.
14)   Meritorious Service Medal.
15)   Long Service and Good Conduct  Medal.
16)   General Service Medal - 1947.
17)   Samar Seva Medal.
18)   Sainya Seva Medal.
19)   Videsh Seva Medal.
20)   Commendation Card.
21)   Raksha Medal.
22)   Poorvi Star.
23)   Paschimi Star.
24)   Sangram Medal.
25)   Wound Medal.

26)   25th Independence Anniversary Medal.


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