Gallantry awards of Indian Armed forces

Hello aspirants, In this post I will tell you all about the awards and decorations of the Indian Armed forces. This post will give a detailed overview of the topic. The article will help you in your preparation and understanding the award system better.

The gallantry award has two subcategories i.e.

  • Wartime gallantry award
  • Peacetime gallantry award

Let's understand the wartime gallantry awards first


  • The Param Vir Chakra(PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for displaying extraordinary acts of bravery during wartime. Inducted on 26th Jan 1950 in armed forces
  • The PVC is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.
  • The medal of the PVC designed by Savitri Khanolkar, whose daughter's brother-in-law, Major Somnath Sharma, coincidentally awarded the first PVC.
  • As of now the medal has been awarded 21 times, twenty recipients are from the Indian Army, and one is from the Indian Air Force.


  • The Maha Vir Chakra(MVC) is the second highest military decoration in India established on 26th Jan 1950.
  • Awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
  • More than 218 acts of bravery and selfless witnessed since the inception of the medal.
  • The most MVCs awarded in a single conflict was in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 while eleven received by the Indian Air Force.

  • Vir Chakra is an Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery on the battlefield inducted on 26th Jan 1950.
  • It replaced the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Military Cross (MC) and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).
  • The recipient uses “ Vr.C.” as a post-nominal abbreviation.
  • There are around 1325 recipient of Vir Chakra.

Now let's dicuss the Peacetime gallantry award


  • The Ashok Chakra is India's highest peacetime military decoration awarded for bravery, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. The medal, established on 4 January 1952
  • It is the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra and 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. Ashok Chakra is equivalent to US Army's peacetime Medal of Honor and the British George Cross.
  • Flt Lt. Suhas Biswas was the first Indian Air Force officer to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra.

  • The Kirti Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for bravery, courageous action or self-sacrifice displayed away from the field of battle.
  • Before 1967, was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.
  • Awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, including posthumous awards.
  • The peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra. It is second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.

  • The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valor, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct engagement with the enemy.
  • Known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class III, before 1967.
  • It may be awarded to civilians as well as military personnel, sometimes posthumously.
  • It is awarded for Counter-Insurgency operations and actions against the enemy during peace-time.

This post will surely clear all your doubts regarding the gallantry awards of Indian armed forces.