Gallantry awards are announced twice in a year – first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day. Order of precedence of these awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra. Let’s read more about the Gallantry awards…
Gallantry award is an honour bestowed on people for the various acts of valour and heroism. In India, there are various gallantry awards that are given away which could be earned in a battlefield.
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.
Thereafter, other three gallantry awards i.e. Ashoka Chakra Class-I, Ashoka Chakra Class-II and 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 and Shaurya Chakra respectively in January, 1967.
On the basis of occasion and timing of the recipient, the awards are distinguished into different sections, which are wartime gallantry awards, peacetime gallantry awards and wartime/peacetime service awards.
Wartime gallantry awards
• Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award which is equivalent to the Victoria Cross.
• The second highest military decoration in India is Maha Vir Chakra. It is awarded for acts of noticeable courage in the enemy presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
• Vir Chakra is third in the ranking of the awards for wartime gallantry.
Peacetime gallantry awards
• Ashok Chakra is awarded in the peacetime and is equivalent to the Param Vir Chakra. The Indian military decoration award is given for courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.
• Kirti Chakra is the second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.
• Shaurya Chakra follows Kirti Chakra in terms of peacetime gallantry awards.
Selection Process for Gallantry Awards
The recommendation for gallantry awards is invited by the Ministry of Defence twice in a year from the Armed Forces and Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The gallantry awards are normally invited in the month of August for the awards to be announced on the occasion of the Republic Day.
The recommendations are invited in the month of March for the awards to be announced on the occasion of the Independence Day.
Maha Vir Chakra for Santosh Babu
Colonel Santosh Babu, who was among the 20 soldiers that died in the line of duty in brutal hand-to-hand combat with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15 ,2020, has been awarded with the second highest wartime gallantry honour, the Maha Vir Chakra, for showing “conspicuous bravery in face of enemy, exemplary leadership and astute professionalism.”