Indian Award System is primarily recognized by the Indian government. The honor bestowed by the patriotic award can be put under two categories namely :
1. Wartime Awards and
2. Peacetime Gallantry Awards.
- War Time Awards:
A] Param Vir Chakra:
- Established on 26th January 1950, it is the highest military award that is bestowed by the government of India.
- It is awarded for highest degree of valor or self-sacrifice in the presence of enemy. It can be and more often has been awarded posthumously.
- The medal is a circular bronze disc. The state emblem appears in the centre surrounded by indra’s vajra. The medal symbolizes Rishi Dadhichi who donated his bones to the gods for making vajra.
B] Maha Vir Chakra:
- Established on January 26th 1950, It is the second highest military award by the Indian government for conspicuous gallantry in the presence of enemy.
- The medal is a silver disc on which a five pointed heraldic star is embossed. The words “Mahavir Chakra” is embossed in Devnagari and English.
C] Vir Chakra
- Established on January 26th 1950, it is the third highest gallantry award conferred for acts of bravery in the battle field.
2. Peacetime Gallantry Award:
A] Ashoka Chakra Award:
- Instituted on 4th January 1952, this award is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra.
- It CAN BE AWARDED TO MILITARY AS WELL AS CIVILIAN PERSONNEL AND CAN BE AWARDED POSTHUMOUSLY.
B] Shaurya Chakra
- It is the peacetime equivalent to Vir Chakra.
- It is generally awarded for counter-insurgency operations and action against enemy during peacetime.
- It is 3rd in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry award and comes after Ashoka Chakra and Kriti Chakra.