Ashoka Chakra (military decoration)

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Ashoka Chakra
अशोक चक्र

Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg
Ashoka Chakra and its ribbon, the highest peacetime decoration of India
Awarded by India Republic of India
Country India Republic of India
Type Medal
  • Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted forces.
  • Members of the Nursing Services of the Armed Forces.
  • Civilian Citizens of either sex in all walks of life and members of Police Forces including Central Para-Military Forces and Railway protection Force.[1]
Awarded for Awarded for most conspicuous bravery, or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice otherwise than in the face of the enemy.[1]
Status Currently Awarded
Post-nominals AC
Established 1952
First awarded 1952
Last awarded 2016
Total awarded 83 (As of 2017)[2]
Next (higher) Param Vir Chakra[3]
Next (lower) Padma Vibhushan[3]

The Ashoka Chakra (alternative spelling: Ashok Chakra) is India's highest peacetime military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peace time 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. 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.[4]

Flt. Lt. Suhas Biswas was the first Indian Air Force officer to be awarded the Ashoka Chakra. Subsequent awards of the Ashoka Chakra are recognized by a bar to the medal ribbon. A recipient can be awarded the Kirti Chakra or Shaurya Chakra in addition for separate acts of gallantry.


The medal was originally established on 4 January 1952 as the "Ashoka Chakra, Class I" as the first step of a three-class sequence of non-combatant bravery decorations. In 1967, these decorations were removed from the "class-based" system and renamed as the Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra. This is an important point in understanding the independent Indian view of decorations. It would also lead to changes in the Padma Vibhushan series, the distinguished service medal series, the life saving medal series, and the Defence Security Corps medal series.

From 1 February 1999, the central government instituted a monthly stipend for Ashoka Chakra recipients of Rs. 1400. Jammu and Kashmir awarded a cash award of Rs. 1500 (ca. 1960) for recipients of this award.


Obverse: Circular gold gilt, 1-3/8 inches in diameter. In the center, the chakra (wheel) of Ashoka, surrounded by a lotus wreath and with an ornate edge. Suspended by a straight bar suspender. The medal is named on the edge.

Reverse: Blank in the center, with "Ashoka Chakra" in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim. On either side is a lotus design. The center is blank, perhaps with the intent that details of the award be engraved there. There is no indication of the class on the pre-1967 awards, and, in fact, there is no difference between these medals and the post-1967 awards.

Ribbon: 32 mm, dark green with a 2 mm central saffron stripe.

To date, 83 people have been awarded the "Ashoka Chakra".[2]

Ashoka Chakra recipients[edit]

# Indicates a posthumous honour
List of award recipients, showing the year
Year Recipient Refs.
2016 Hangpan Dada [5]
2015 Mohan Goswami [5]
2014 Mukund Varadarajan [5]
2014 Neeraj Kumar Singh [5]
2013 K. Prasad Babu [6]
2012 Navdeep Singh [5]
2011 Laishram Jyotin Singh [5]
2010 Rajesh Kumar [5]
2010 D. Sreeram Kumar [5]
2009 Mohit Sharma [5]
2009 Bahadur Singh Bohra [7]
2009 Hemant Karkare [7]
2009 Vijay Salaskar [7]
2009 Ashok Kamte [7]
2009 Tukaram Omble [7]
2009 Gajender Singh Bisht [7]
2009 Sandeep Unnikrishnan [7]
2009 Mohan Chand Sharma [7]
2009 Jojan Thomas [7]
2009 R. P. Diengdoh [7]
2009 Pramod Kumar Satapathy [7]
2008 Dinesh Raghu Raman [8]
2007 Radhakrishnan Nair Harshan [8]
2007 Chuni Lal [8]
2007 Vasanth Venugopal [8]
2004 Triveni Singh [8]
2004 Sanjog Chhetri [8]
2002 Surinder Singh [8]
2002 Rambeer Singh Tomar [8]
2001 Kamlesh Kumari
2000 Sudhir Kumar Walia [8]
1997 Puneet Nath Datt [8]
1997 Shanti Swarup Rana [8]
1996 Arun Singh Jasrotia [8]
1995 Rajiv Kumar Joon [8]
1995 Sujjan Singh [8]
1995 Harsh Uday Singh Gaur [8]
1994 Neelakantan Jayachandran Nair [8]
1993 Rakesh Singh [8]
1992 Sandeep Sankhla [9]
1991 Randhir Prasad Verma
1987 Neerja Bhanot
1985 Chhering Mutup [9]
1985 Nirbhay Singh [9]
1985 Bhawani Datt Joshi [9]
1985 Ram Prakash Roperia [9]
1985 Jasbir Singh Raina [9]
1985 Bhukant Misra [9]
1985 Rakesh Sharma
1984 Gennadi Strekalov
1984 Yury Malyshev
1981 Cyrus Addie Pithawalla [9]
1974 Gurunam Singh [9]
1972 Ummed Singh Mahra [9]
1969 Jas Ram Singh [9]
1965 Jia Lal Gupta [9]
1962 Kharka Bahadur Linibu [9]
1962 Man Bahadur Rai [9]
1958 Eric James Tucker [9]
1958 Jem Bajirao Sakpal
1957 J. R. Chitnis [9]
1957 P. M. Raman [9]
1957 Joginder Singh [9]
1956 Sundar Singh [9]
1952 Suhas Biswas
1952 Bachittar Singh [9]
1952 Narbahadur Thapa [9]


External links[edit]