Gallantry Awards Facts at a Glance [All You Need To Know]

By | December 12, 2021


President of India present Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations in Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The gallantry awards are announced twice a year first on the occasion of Republic Day and then on Independence Day and the Ministry of Defence invites recommendations twice a year from the Armed Forces and Union Ministry of Home Affairs for Gallantry Awards.

These Gallantry Awards were instituted by GOI on 26th January 1950. Param Vir Chakra is the highest gallantry award of the Indian Army.

Description of Indian Gallantry Awards

Gallantry Awards are divided into the 3 major categories:

  1. War Time Awards
  2. Peace Time Awards
  3. Distinguished Service Medal

1. War Time Gallantry Awards


⇒ Param Vir Chakra

It is India’s highest wartime military decoration. Param Vir Chakra is awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air.

The name of the award means the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”. Moreover, PVC is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.

Medal: The medal is circular in shape, made of bronze, one and three-eighths inches in diameter. On its reverse, it shall have embossed “PARAM VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions.

Ribbon: Plain purple colored ribbon.

⇒ Mahavir Chakra

Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) is literally called a great warrior medal. It is the second-highest wartime military decoration in India, after the Param Vir Chakra.

This is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. Also, it replaced the British Distinguished Service Order (DSO). The medal may be awarded posthumously.

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three-eighth inches in diameter. On the reverse, it shall have embossed “MAHA VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions.

Ribbon: The ribbon is of a half-white and half-orange color.

Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)

⇒ Vir Chakra

It is the country’s third-highest wartime gallantry award after Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.

Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the wars. Moreover, it replaced the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Military Cross (MC) and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

Medal: The medal is Circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three-eighths inches in diameter. On the reverse, it shall have embossed “VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the inscriptions.

Ribbon: The ribbon is half blue and half orange in color.

Vir Chakra Photo

2. Peace Time Gallantry Awards


⇒ Ashoka Chakra

Ashoka Chakra is India’s highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.

It is the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra. It is awarded for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valor or self-sacrifice” other than in the face of the enemy. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel. This award is equivalent to the US Army’s peacetime Medal Of Honor and the British George Cross.

Medal: Circular in shape, one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. The medal will be of gold gild. On its reverse shall be embossed the words “Ashok Chakra” both in Hindi and English the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green color ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line.

Ashok Chakra Photo

⇒ Kirti Chakra

Kirti Chakra is the second-highest peacetime gallantry award and is awarded for valour, 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. Moreover, it is the peacetime equivalent of Maha Vir Chakra. Therefore, it is second in order of precedence of peacetime Gallantry Awards; it comes after Ashoka Chakra and before Shaurya Chakra. the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II V before 1967.

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. Also, on its reverse shall be embossed the words “KIRTI CHAKRA” both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green color ribbon divided into three equal parts by two orange vertical lines.

Kirti Chakra Photo

⇒ Shaurya Chakra

It is the third-highest peacetime gallantry award. Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

Moreover, it may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel. This is awarded for Counter-Insurgency operations and actions against
the enemy during peacetime. Moreover, this is the peacetime equivalent of the Vir Chakra. This is third in order of precedence of peacetime Gallantry Awards. It comes after the Ashoka Chakra and the Kirti Chakra and precedes the Sena Medal. The award was known as Ashoka Chakra, Class III before 1967.

Medal: The medal is circular in shape and made of bronze, one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. On its reverse shall be embossed the words “SHAURYA CHAKRA” both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Ribbon: Green color ribbon divided into four equal parts by three vertical lines.

Shaurya Chakra Photo

Distinguished Service Medal


⇒ Sena Medal (Army)

It is awarded for acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage in the Army.

This awarded for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as having special significance for the Army. Awards may be made posthumously. A Bar may be awarded for every subsequent act.

Sena Medal photo

⇒ Nau Sena Medal (Navy)

It is awarded for individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage in the Navy.

This awarded for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as having special significance for the Navy. Awards may be made posthumously. A Bar may be awarded for every subsequent act.

Nau Sena Medal Photo

⇒ Vayu Sena Medal (Air Force)

It is awarded for individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage in the Air Force.

This awarded for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as having special significance for the Air Force. Awards may be made posthumously. A Bar may be awarded for every subsequent act.

Vayu Sena Medal

Below two (2) PDF books will help you to understand more about Indian Gallantry Awards.

Important Study Notes on Gallantry Awards PDF Book –  Download

PDF Book on Monetary Allowances & Other Benefits by Central/State Government For Gallantry and Distinguished Service Awards – Download

Thank you for reading facts about Indian Gallantry Awards. Further, if you have any questions about Gallantry Awards, then do comment below.

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