Awards in India

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Awards are honors which are conferred to people with great achievements. Different types of awards are given to noted personalities in our country, for their outstanding accomplishments in diverse fields. 

The prime categories of awards in our nation are:

  1. Civilian Awards
  2. Gallantry Awards

Here is the list of prominent awards in India

Civilian Awards

Civilian awards are given to people for their exceptional achievements in various fields. The President of India presents these awards to the recipients on Republic Day every year. The inception of civilian awards was in 1954.

Civilian awards are categorized on the basis of degree of honor.

Here’s the list.

  • Bharat Ratna – first degree of honor.
  • Padma Vibhushan – second degree of honor.
  • Padma Bhushan – third degree of honor.
  • Padma Shri – fourth degree of honor.

Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award. It is given for achievements in the field of science, literature, arts and public services. Sports was included in the award category in 2013. 

The award, which has the shape of a peepal leaf, is bronze-toned. There is an emblem of the sun in the middle. The word ‘Bharat Ratna’ is engraved below the emblem in Devanagari script. On the back side, it has the state emblem and state motto.

Padma Vibhushan

The Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award in the country. The Padma Vibhushan is awarded to people for their excellence in the fields of arts, literature, science and public services.

The bronze – toned award has a circular shape with a geometric pattern superimposed on it. The center of the circle is decorated with a lotus flower. The words ‘Padma’ and ‘Vibushan’ are carved above and below the lotus flower in Devanagari script. On the reverse side, it has the state emblem and state motto as well. 

Padma Bhushan

It is the third-highest civilian award in India. It is given to government servants including doctors and scientists (but not those working with the public sector undertakings).

With the embossing done in gold, the award is similar to Padma Vibhushan.

Padma Shri

Being the fourth highest civilian award in India, Padma Shri is conferred to people for excelling in their respective fields (including government employees).

The award involves superimposition of a geometric pattern on the circle. “Padma” and “Shri” are embossed above and below the lotus flower which is located in the center.

While all the embossing is done in stainless steel, the periphery is furnished in bronze.

Gallantry Awards

Gallantry awards are presented for bravery and valor.

Param Vir Chakra

The Param Vir Chakra – ‘Wheel of the Ultimate Brave’, is conferred for distinguished acts of valor at the time of war.      

It is the highest order of recognition in the military.

Mahavir Chakra

It is the second-highest military honorary award in the country. Awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry, ‘Mahavir Chakra’ replaced the British Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

Vir Chakra

Being the third-highest honorary gallantry award in the country, Vir Chakra is conferred to military personnel for heroics in the presence of the enemy on the battlefield.

Ashoka Chakra

Ashoka Chakra is given to civilians/military personnel for remarkable bravery/act of valor/self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.

Kirti Chakra

It is awarded to civilians as well as military personnel for valor or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle.

The Kirti Chakra award is regarded as the peacetime equivalent of Maha Vir Chakra. Until 1967, the award was called the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.

Shaurya Chakra

It is an Indian military decoration award for valor/courageous action while not engaged in direct combat with the enemy.

Sports Awards

Let’s also take a look at the major sports awards in the country:

i) Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna: Given for most outstanding performance by a sportsperson over the period of last 4 years.

ii) Dhyan Chand Award: Given for lifetime contribution to sports development.

iii) Arjuna Award: Awarded for consistent/outstanding performances over the period of last 4 years in sports.

iv) Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Trophy: Given for excellent performance in the inter-university tournaments over the period of last 1 year.

v) Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: Given for playing a key role in sports promotion and development over the period of last 3 years.

vi) Dronacharya Award: The sports coaching honor is given for producing medal winners at top international events.         

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