In Focus: Indian military honours

In Focus: Indian military honours

About: Gallantry Awards

  • In 1950, India India constituted its own Gallantry awards when it turned a Republic.
  • Galantary Awards (war) and Galantary Awards (Peace) are given.

Galantary Awards (war): These awards are granted for gallantry on the battlefield.

  • Param Vir Chakra: The Param Vir Chakra is the highest gallantry award given to the Indian Armed Forces.
  • Maha Vir Chakra: It is the second highest wartime gallantry award. The Award is less in precedence only to the Param Vir Chakra.
  • Vir Chakra:The Vir Chakra is third in precedence in Gallantry Awards earned in the battle and is awarded for those actions which are conspicuous but does not qualify for the award of the PVC or the MVC.
  • Sena Medals:
    • The Sena Medal is awarded to members of the Indian army, of all ranks for such individual acts of exceptional devotion to duty or courage as have special significance for the Army.
    • Awards may be made posthumously and a bar is authorized for subsequent awards of the Sena Medal.
    • It can be awarded for gallantry or it can also be for distinguished service carried out by any soldier, not in the face of the enemy.
  • Nao Sena Medal: It is a gallantry award for servicemen in the Indian Navy.
  • Vayu Sena Medal: The Indian Air Force also awards the Vayusena Medal (VM) for acts of bravery and service during war time wherever it seems the award of the VirChakra is not justifiable.

Galantry Award (Peace): These awards are granted for bravery and courage away from the battle front.

  • These awards comprised the Ashoka Chakra (highest), The Kirti Chakra (second highest) and the Shaurya Chakra (third highest).
  • All the three awards are given for showing conspicuous gallantry or bravery but away from the Battlefield. In effect, these awards were given for counter insurgency operations, and other situations where the awardee is not necessarily in the Field of the Battle.
  • These awards can be made to any member of the armed forces as well as civilians in the war effort or during peacetime.

About: Service Awards

  • These Awards are granted for Service and Leadership during wartime and peacetime.

Vishist Seva Medals:

  • The Vishist Seva Medals (Special Service Medals) were instituted for exceptional service and leadership rendered in the armed forces.
  • The awards were classified into three classes, named the VSM Class 1, VSM Class 2 and the VSM Class 3.
  • In 1967, they were renamed the Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM) and the Visisht Seva Medal (VSM).
  • These awards were given in recognition to service rendered in administrative or operational capacities during peacetime.

YudhSeva Medals:

  • In 1980, The YudhSeva Medals were constituted to give service awards during wartime.
  • The Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal (SYSM) being the topmost in precedence, followed by the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM) and finally the Yudh Seva Medal (YSM).

Difference between Gallantry Awards and Service Awards:

  • The Gallantry Awards are awarded in most cases for specific incidents of gallantry.
  • On the other hand, the Service awards cannot be given for individual and specific incidents. They can be given more in line with continuous and sustained effort in their service.
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