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Indian Defense Awards

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Indian Defense Awards


The President of India has approved 393 Gallantry and other Defence awards for the personnel serving the country in either of the three forces- Army, Navy and Air Force respectively. They are -

Common to all the Three Forces


Param Vir Chakra

It is the highest award for showing conspicuous bravery or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice, in front of the enemy either on land, at sea, or in the air. It is second only to Bharat Ratna given by Government of India. The decoration was instituted on 26th Jan 1950 by the President of India, with effect from 15th August 1947. The award may be given posthumously.

The medal was designed by Savitri Khanolankar. The medallion is a disc of one and three eighth inches in diameter made of bronze. There are four replicas of "Indra's Vajra" with the State Emblem and motto in the center on the obverse. It has Param Vir Chakra imprinted in Hindi as well as English with two lotus flowers between them on its reverse.  It swivels in a 32 mm long purple colored ribbon.

If any Chakra awardee do repeat the act of bravery, and has to be awarded the Chakra, such further act of bravery shall be recorded as a Bar on the riband by which the Chakra is suspended. For every bar awarded, a replica of the "Indra's Vajra" in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone. For every bar a monetary allowance of Rs. 1500/- is also given in with effect from 1st January, 1996.

Mahavir Chakra

Mahavir Chakra is a gallantry award given for showing bravery before the enemies on land, at sea or in the air. The award was instituted on 26 January 1950.

The decoration is a silver circular disc bearing a five pointed heraldic star with tip of each arm touches the rim of the disc and the state emblem in embossed in the center on the obverse. The word “Mahavir Chakra” is inscribed on the reverse side of the medallion in both Devnagari and English. It may be awarded posthumously. The medal is worn on left breast with a half white and half orange 3.2 cm wide ribbon. Bar or bars for every subsequent award may be given posthumously.

The medal is worn like the orange half of the ribbon is directed towards left shoulder. Cash allowance of Rs. 1200/- is given every month and each bar to the decoration will carry the same amount of monetary allowance as admissible to the original award with effect from 1 February, 1999.

Vir Chakra

The award is given for acts of bravery in the presence of the enemy on land or at sea or in the air. The medallion is a silver circular disc of 1-3/8 inch diameter with a five pointed star and a chakra in the center which has the dome gilded state emblem. The name of the decoration and the date appears on the rim. The decoration is suspended from a swiveling straight bar suspender. The ribbon is half blue and half orange in colour. Vir Chakra may be awarded posthumously. Bar is awarded to the medal for every subsequent felicitation.

A monetary allowance of Rs. 850/- per month is given for each bar to the decoration as admissible to the original awards with effect from 1 February, 1999.

Uttam Yudh Seva Medal

The medal was instituted on 26 June 1980 and is awarded for distinguished service of an exceptional order during war/conflict/hostilities. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

The medal is circular in shape, 35 mm in diameter, made of gold gilt and is fitted to a plain horizontal bar. The medal has State Emblem and the inscriptions “UTTAM YUDH SEVA MEDAL” in English on its obverse the. On its reverse, it has a five pointed star. The medal is hung to a Golden coloured ribbon which has two red vertical stripes that divides it into three equal parts.

If an awardee is subsequently awarded the medal again, a bar shall be awarded for every further award and is attached to the riband by which the medal is suspended. For every such bar, a miniature insignia of a pattern approved by the Government shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Yuddh Seva Medal

It is an award instituted on 26 Jun 1980 for providing distinguished service of a high order during war/conflict/hostilities.

It is a circular shaped, 35 mm in diameter decoration and is fitted to a plain horizontal bar. The medal is made of gold gilt. The medal shall have on its obverse the State Emblem and the inscriptions "YUDH SEVA MEDAL" (in English). On its reverse, it shall have a five-pointed star. The Gold coloured ribbon with three red vertical stripes dividing it into four equal parts supports the medal.

If a recipient of the medal is subsequently awarded the medal again, every such further award shall be recognised by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the medal is suspended. For every such Bar, a miniature insignia of a pattern approved by the Government shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Mention-in-Despatches

This was instituted on 25 November 1950 and is given in favour of distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry, which are not of sufficiently high order to merit a gallantry award. An Emblem, in the form of lotus leaf on the ribbon of the Campaign Medal related to the Campaign in which the mention was made is worn by the Mention-in-Despatches awardee. A certificate is also presented in addition to the emblem.

All Army, Navy and Air Force personnel including personnel of the Reserve Force, Territorial Army, Militia and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces, members of the Nursing services and civilians working under or with the Armed forces are eligible for Mention-in-Despatches. Names may be included posthumously and a person's name can be mentioned in more than one despatch.

Sarvottam Yudh Seva

The medal is made up of gold gilt and is a circular disc of 35 mm diameter fitted to a plain horizontal bar. It is awarded for an eminent service during war/conflicts/hostilities. The medal shall have the State Emblem and the inscriptions "SARVOTTAM YUDH SEVA MEDAL" in English on its obverse. On its reverse, it shall have a five pointed star.

The Golden colour ribbon or bar bears a red vertical stripe in the centre thus dividing it into two equal parts. A Bar is added for every subsequent award. A miniature insignia of a pattern approved by the Government shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Common to Navy and Air Force


Ashok Chakra

Ashok Chakra was instituted on 04 January 1952 and renamed on 27 January 1967. The decoration is circular in shape, one and three eighth inches in diameter with rims on both sides and is made of gold-gilt. On the obverse, it has an embossed replica of Ashoka's Chakra in the center surrounded by a lotus garland.  On its reverse the words "Ashoka Chakra" are embossed in Hindi as well as English, two lotus flowers separates the two versions. The medal swivels from a Green ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line.
                   
It is awarded for facing enemy with conspicuous bravery or preeminent act of valour or self-sacrifice. Ashok Chakra may be awarded posthumously. A Bar shall be given for every subsequent award.

An allowance of Rs. 1400/- and each bar to the decoration will carry the same amount of monetary allowance as admissible to the original award with effect from 1 February, 1999.

Kirti Chakra

Kirti Chakra award was established on 04 January 1952 and has been instituted as ‘Ashok Chakra- II’. The decoration was renamed on 27 January 1967. It is given for showing conspicuous courage before the enemy. It may be presented to defense personnel as well as civilians. The decoration may be awarded posthumously.

The medal is a circular disc of standard silver one and three eight inches in diameter.  The replica of Ashoka Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath is seen Obverse of the medal. The words ‘KIRTI CHAKRA’ are embossed on its reverse both in Hindi and in English the versions are separated by two lotus flowers.

The medal swivels with a Green colour ribbon which is divided into three equal parts by two orange vertical lines. A Bar is presented for every further award. For every Bar awarded, a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Government of India gives a stipend of  Rs. 1050/- per month and each bar to the decoration will carry the same amount of monetary allowance as admissible to the original award with effect from 1 February, 1999.

Shaurya Chakra

It was instituted on 4 January 1952 as Ashoka Chakra Class-III and renamed on 27 January 1967 as Shaurya Chakra This award is given to defense personnel as well as civilians. It is awarded for acting with valor in the face of the enemy and may be presented to defense personnel as well as civilians. The award may be given posthumously.

The medal is a circular disc of one and three eight inches diameter.  The replica of Shaurya Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath is seen Obverse of the medal. The words ‘SHAURYA CHAKRA’ are embossed on its reverse both in Hindi and in English the versions are separated by two lotus flowers.

The medal swivels with a Green colour ribbon which is divided into four equal parts by three orange vertical lines. A Bar is awarded for every subsequent act. For every Bar awarded, a replica of miniature of Chakra shall be added to the riband when worn alone. A stipend of Rs. 750/- pm is given with effect from 1 February, 1999.

Param Vishisht Seva

It was instituted on 26 January 1960 as Vishisht Seva Medal Class-I as an award for distinguished service of the most exceptional order. It was renamed on 27 January 1967 as Param Vishisht Seva Medal.

The medallion is round in shape, 35 mm in diameter and fitted to a plain horizontal bar. It is made of gold gilt. A five-pointed star is embossed on its obverse and on its reverse is the State Emblem and the inscription is embossed along the upper rim. The ribbon is of gold colour with one dark blue stripe in the centre which divides it into two equal parts.

If a recipient of the medal is subsequently awarded the medal again, every such further award shall be recognised by a Bar attached to the riband which supports the medal.  For every such bar, a miniature insignia of a pattern by the Government shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Ati Vishisth Seva Medal

The medal was established on 26 January 1960 as Vishisht Seva Medal Class-II and was renamed on 27 January 1967 as Ati Vishisth Seva Medal. It is given for distinguished service of an exceptional order.

The decoration is circular 35 mm in diameter and fitted to a plain horizontal bar and is made of standard silver. On its obverse a five-pointed star is embossed and the State Emblem on its reverse and the inscription is embossed along the upper rim. The ribbon from which the medal hungs is of gold colour with two dark blue stripes dividing it into three equal parts.


Vishisht Seva Medal

The award was instituted on 26 January 1960 as Vishisht Seva Medal Class-III for distinguished service of a high order. It was renamed on 27 January 1967 as Vishisht Seva Medal.

The medal made of bronze is circular in shape, 35 mm in diameter and fitted to a plain horizontal bar. On its obverse a five-pointed star is embossed and on its reverse is the State Emblem and the inscription embossed along the upper rim. The ribbon from which medal swivels is golden coloured with three dark blue stripes dividing it into four equal parts. A bar is added for every subsequent award if the same personnel receives the medal again.


In Army

  • Bar to Sena Medal (GALLANTRY)
  • Sena Medal (GALLANTRY)

In Navy


Padma Shri

Padma Shri is awarded for notable service in any field including service rendered by Government servants.

Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha

It is given for conspicuous courage, that could have rescued someone from a great danger like that of drowning, fire, natural calamity. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

Nao Sena Medal

Awarded for such individual acts of (Gallantry) exceptional courage as have special significance to the Navy. Awards may be made posthumously. For every subsequent act, Bar may be awarded.

Nao Sena Medal is also awarded for such individual acts of (Devotion to duty) devotion to duty as have special significance to the Navy. Also see Annexure. A Bar may be awarded for every subsequent act. Award may be made posthumously.

Uttam Jeevan Raksha

Awarded for courage and promptitude Padak under circumstances of great danger to the life of the rescuer, displayed in an act or a series of acts of a humane nature in saving life from drowning fire and rescue operation. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

Jeevan Raksha Padak

Awarded for courage and promptitude in saving life from drowning, fire rescue operations. The medal may be awarded posthumously.

Air Force


Vayu Sena Medal

Vayu Sena Medal was instituted on 26 January 1960 to recognise exceptional devotion to duty or acts of courage by Air Force personnel. The medal is awarded for Devotion to duty and Gallantry separately from 1994. VM (Gallantry) is awarded in recognition of an act of courage whereas VM (Devotion to duty) is awarded in recognition of individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty.

The medal is made up of silver and is a circular disc 35 mm in diameter. It bears a five-pointed star and is mounted on a ring attached to a 3 mm wide metal strip ornamented with Ashoka leaves. Obverse has the State Emblem embossed in the centre; it is encircled by a garland of leaves. The reverse face has an image of Himalayan Eagle with the inscription below it.

The ribbon from which the medal hangs is 32 mm wide and is patterned with alternate diagonal stripes of saffron and silver grey, each being 3 mm wide.

A Bar is attached to the ribbon of Medal when awarded. The ribbon bears miniature emblem of a pattern approved by the Government on the occasions when only the ribbon is worn. A bar shall be given for every subsequent award of the Medal to a person. Award may be made posthumously. An allowance of Rs. 250/- is given every month when awarded for courageous acts with effect from 1 February, 1999.
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Comments / Discussion Board - Indian Defense Awards

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    San Jay Babanrao Bhosale from PUNE 685 Days ago

    "सारे जहाँ से अच्छा खुर्सी की राजनीती के लिए... बली चढाया जा रहा है आम आदमी सच्चा फिर भी सारे जहाँ से अच्छा...!"

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    Vikramajit Singh from Allahabad 1447 Days ago

    I salute to my elder brother inlaw for his sacrifice and patriotism .

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