Indian honours system

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The Indian honours system is the system of awards given to individuals for a variety of services to the Republic of India. The categories of awards are as follows -

Civilian Awards[edit]

Bharat Ratna[edit]

The Bharat Ratna,[1] the highest civilian award of the country, was instituted in the year 1954. Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position, or gender is eligible for this award. It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour. On conferment of the award, the recipient receives a Sanad (certificate) signed by the President and a medallion. It is not mandatory that this award should be given every year.

Padma awards[edit]

Padma Awards[2] were instituted in the year 1954. Except for brief interruptions during the years 1977 to 1980 and 1993 to 1997, these awards have been announced every year on Republic Day. The award is given in three categories, viz. Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, in the decreasing order of importance.

  • Padma Vibhushan for "exceptional and distinguished service". Padma Vibhushan is second highest civilian award in India.
  • Padma Bhushan for "distinguished service of a high order". Padma Bhushan is third highest civilian award in India .
  • Padma Shri is awarded for "distinguished service". Padma Shri is last and fourth highest civilian award in India.

While national honours, the Padma awards do not include cash allowances, benefits, or special concessions in rail/air travel.[3] Per a December 1995 judgment of the Supreme Court of India, no titles or honorifics are associated with the Bharat Ratna or any of the Padma awards; honorees cannot use them or their initials as suffixes, prefixes or pre- and post-nominals attached to the awardee’s name. This includes any such use on letterheads, invitation cards, posters, books etc. In the case of any misuse, the awardee will forfeit the award, and he or she is cautioned against any such misuse upon receiving the honour.[4]

  • The decoration comprises a sanad (Certificate) issued under the hand and seal of the President and a Medallion.
  • The recipients are also given a replica of the medallion, which they can wear during any ceremonial/State functions etc., if they desire.
  • A commemorative brochure giving out brief details in respect of each award winner is also released on the day of the investiture ceremony.

Selection process[edit]

These awards seek to recognize work of any distinction and is given for distinguished and exceptional achievements/service in all fields of activities/disciplines, such as art, literature and education, sports, medicine, social work, science and engineering, public affairs, civil service, trade and industry, etc. All persons without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex are eligible for these awards.

In 2018, the BJP government decided to end the practice of ministers recommending names for Padma awards and replaced it with any Indian citizen recommending a person for Padma awards online. The government said that this was done with the belief that every citizen has something to contribute to the nation and that contribution should be integrated with the country's growth. Accordingly, several hitherto unknown citizens were awarded Padma awards in 2017. The role of the state governments was also minimised.[5][6][7]

Annulment of awards[edit]

While there are no specific criteria for withdrawing a Padma award, the President of India, per the awards' statutes, may cancel and annul any award in the case of any misconduct committed by the recipient. At least three awards of the Padma Shri have been so annulled, twice in 1958 for recipients residing in the state of Punjab and once in 1974 for a recipient residing in the state of Gujarat.[8]

Military Awards[edit]

Wartime gallantry awards[edit]

  • Param Vir Chakra — Highest military award for, equivalent to the Victoria Cross (which was replaced once India gained its independence).
  • Maha Vir Chakra – Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.
  • Vir Chakra – Third in precedence in the awards for wartime gallantry

Peacetime gallantry awards[edit]

  • Ashok Chakra Award – An Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield. It is the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra.
  • Kirti Chakra – Second in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.
  • Shaurya Chakra – Third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards.

Wartime/Peacetime service awards[edit]

Wartime Distinguished Service[edit]

Peacetime Distinguished Service[edit]

National awards[edit]

Women[edit]

Children[edit]

Literature awards[edit]

Particular awards[edit]

National sports awards[edit]

Police awards[edit]

  • President's Police Medal for Gallantry
  • President's Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
  • President's Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
  • President's Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
  • Police Medal for Gallantry
  • Fire Services Medal for Gallantry
  • Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry
  • Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Gallantry
  • President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service
  • President's Fire Services Medal for Distinguished Service
  • President's Correctional Service Medal for Distinguished Service
  • President's Home Guards and Civil Defence for Distinguished Service
  • Police Medal for Meritorious Service
  • Fire Services Medal for Meritorious Service
  • Correction Service Medal for Meritorious Service
  • Home Guards and Civil Defence Medal for Meritorious Service
  • President Tat Rakshak Medal

Bravery awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]