After the conclusion of British rule in India, the old institution of British honours and awards came to an end. Independent India introduced various awards such as Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Shaurya Chakra etc. to recognize and encourage the contribution made by personnel.
Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
It is highest gallantry award given to the Indian Armed Forces, instituted on 26 January, 1950. It is awarded to officer and enlisted personnel of all military branches to recognize the most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. The PVC is a post-independent equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Till now there have been 21PVC’s awarded.
Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
It 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.
It was awarded for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land or at sea or in the air. It is third in precedence in the wartime gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.
It is awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peacetime 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.
It is awarded for gallantry otherwise than in the face of the enemy. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Vir Chakra. The decoration may be granted to civilians or to military personal and may be awarded posthumously.
It is a military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle. It is awarded to both civilians and military personnel, including posthumous awards. It is the peacetime equivalent of Maha Vir Chakra.
Yuddh Seva Medal
It was instituted on 26th June, 1980 to recognize distinguished service of high order during war/ conflicts/hostilities.
Param Vishist Seva Medal
It was instituted on 26th January 1960, as Vishist Seva Medal Class-1 to recognize the distinguished service of the most exceptional order.
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
It was instituted on 26th January 1960 as Vishsit Seva Medal Class II for distinguished service of an exceptional order.
Bharat Ratna Award
It is the highest civilian honour, given for exceptional service towards advancement of Art, Literature and Science and in recognition of Public Service of the highest order. The provision of Bharat Ratna was introduced in 1954. The first-ever Indian to receive this award was the famous scientist, Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.
In fact, there is no written provision that Bharat Ratna should be awarded to Indian citizens only. The awarded has been awarded to a naturalized Indian citizen, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known Mother Teresa (1980) and to two non-Indians-Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Nelson Mandela (1990). In 2009 the award was conferred on famous Indian vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao have received the Bharat Ratna from President of India Shri Pranab Mukharjee on 4th February, 2014 in New Delhi.
These awards are given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field including service rendered by government servants. The recommendations for Padma Award are received from the state Government/Union Territory Administrations, Central Ministries/Departments, Institutions of Excellence etc. which are considered by an Awards Committee. On the basis of the recommendations of the Awards Committee and after approval of the Home Minister, Prime Minister and President, the Padma Awards are announced on the eve of the Republic Day, Padma Awards were instituted in the year 1954 to 1997. Except for brief interruption (s) during the years 1978 to 1979 and 1993, these awards have been announced every year. There are three types of Padma namely, Padma Vibhusan, Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri.
- Padma Shri Award Awarded for ‘distinguished service’
- Padma Bhushan Award Awarded for distinguished service of a higher order’
- Padma Vibhusan Award Awarded for “exceptional and distinguished service”