Awards in India

Awards are the token of respect and honour conferred to the people with noteworthy achievements. The list of awards in India is vast as people have been marking great achievements in various fields.

This article is about the list of awards in India for various fields of achievements. This is an important topic for aspirants appearing for UPSC and other government exams.

The major categories of Awards in India are:

  1. Civilian Awards
  2. Gallantry Awards

Civilian Awards

Civilian Awards are conferred to people with outstanding achievements in their field of work. These awards are presented to the respective recipients by the President of India on Republic Day. The inception year of these Civilian awards is 1954.

Civilian Awards are categorized according to the degree of honour.

The Civilian awards conferred are:

  1. Bharat Ratna- 1st degree of honour
  2. Padma Vibhushan- 2nd degree of honour
  3. Padma Bhushan- 3rd degree of honour
  4. Padma Shri- 4th degree of honour

Bharat Ratna

Bharat Ratna is the highest Civilian Award in India. This award is conferred for achievements in the field of Science, Literature, Arts and Public Services. In 2013, sports were also included in this award category.

The award has the shape of Peepal leaf and is bronze-toned. The award has the emblem of Sun in the middle and the words” Bharat Ratna” are inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari Script. On the reverse side, it has the State Emblem and State Motto.

Padma Vibhushan

Padma Vibushan is the second-highest civilian award in India. This is conferred to people with distinguished achievements in the field of Arts, Literature, Science, Public Services.

This award has a circular shape with a geometric pattern superimposed on the circle and is toned bronze. In the centre of the circle, a lotus flower is embossed. The word “Padma” and Vibushan is inscribed above and below the lotus flower in Devnagri Script. On the reverse side, it has the State Emblem and State Motto.

Padma Bhushan

This is the third-highest civilian award in India and is conferred to people with achievements in for service in any field including service rendered by Government servants including doctors and scientists, but exclude those working with the public sector undertakings.

This award has a similar design to the Padma Vibhushan. All the embossing is done in gold.

Padma Shri

In the order of rank, Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award. This award is conferred to people for achievements in any field including the service rendered by the Government employees.

The shape of the award is the superimposition of a geometric pattern on the circle.

The words “Padma” and “Shri” are embossed above and below the lotus flower in the centre.

All the embossing is done in stainless steel and the periphery is furnished in bronze.

List of Civilian Awards & Awardees 2019

Civilian Awards


Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee

Nanaji Deshmukh (Posthumously)

Bhupen Hazarika (Posthumously)

Padma Vibhushan Ms. Teejan Bai

Shri Ismail Omar Guelleh (Foreigner)

Shri Anilkumar Manibhai Naik

Shri Balwant Moreshwar Purandare

Padma Bhushan Shri John Chambers (Foreigner)

Shri Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa

Shri Pravin Gordhan (Foreigner)

Shri Mahashay Dharam Pal Gulati

Shri Ashok Laxmanrao Kukade

Shri Kariya Munda

Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee

Shri Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair

Shri S Nambi Narayan

Shri Kuldip Nayar (Posthumous)

Ms. Bachendri Pal

Shri V K Shunglu

Shri Hukumdev Narayan Yadav

Padma Shri Rajeshwar Acharya – Art-Vocal-Hindustani – Uttar Pradesh

Bangaru Adigalar – Spiritualism – Tamil Nadu

Illias Ali – Medicine-Surgery – Assam

Manoj Bajpayee – Art-Acting-Films – Maharashtra

Uddhab Kumar Bharali – Science & Engineering-Grassroots Innovation – Assam

Omesh Kumar Bharti – Medicine (Rabies) – Himachal Pradesh

Pritam Bhartwan – Art-Vocals-Folk – Uttarakhand

Jyoti Bhatt – Art-Painting – Gujarat

Dilip Chakravarty – Archaeology – Delhi

Mammen Chandy – Medicine (Hematology) – West Bengal

Swapan Chaudhuri – Art-Music-Tabla – West Bengal

Kanwal Singh Chauhan – Agriculture – Haryana

Sunil Chhetri – Sports (Football) – Telangana

Dinyar Contractor – Art-Acting-Theatre – Maharashtra

Muktaben Pankajkumar Dagli – Social Work (Divyang Welfare) – Gujarat

Babulal Dahiya – Agriculture – Madhya Pradesh

List of Civilian Awards & Awardees 2019:- Download PDF Here

Gallantry Awards

Gallantry Awards are presented to the personnel in the forces for bravery and valour.

The Gallantry awards that are conferred in India are as follows(in the order of Precedence):

  1. Param Vir Chakra
  2. Mahavir Chakra
  3. Vir Chakra
  4. Ashoka Chakra
  5. Kirti Chakra
  6. Shaurya Chakra

Major facts about the Gallantry Awards

  • The first 3 awards in this category that came into existence after independence are- Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra.
  • These awards are conferred twice a year- on Republic Day and Independence Day.
  • The other 3 gallantry awards were introduced in 1952- Ashok Chakra Class I, ashok Chakra Class II, Ashok Chakra Class III. Later, they were named as Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.
  • The gallantry Awards have a certain selection process for the recipients.

Selection Process for Gallantry Awards

The basic selection process for these awards are:

  1. In the case of Armed Forces, the award is initiated by the Unit.
  2. The recommended personnel name are sent to the Service Headquarters under the supervision of Commanders in the chain.
  3. The Awards Committee verifies the list and gets it approved by the Chiefs before sending the proposal to the Ministry Of Defence.

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Param Vir Chakra

Param Vir Chakra is the highest order of recognition in the Military and is conferred to personnel who have performed a distinguished act of valour at the time of war.

The name of the award is also referred to as the “Wheel of the Ultimate Brave”. The medal is a circular bronze disc. On the front, the National Emblem of India appears in the centre on a raised circle surrounded by four sets of the vajra. On the reverse, there are 2 inscribed legends separated by lotus flowers. The words “Param Vir Chakra” are written in Hindi and English.

Mahavir Chakra

The Maha Vir Chakra is the second-highest military honorary award in India, after the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. It replaced the British Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

The medal is made of silver and is circular in shape. Embossed on the front is a five-pointed star with circular centre-piece on which the state emblem of India is inscribed. The words “Mahavira Chakra” are embossed in Devanagari and English on the reverse with two lotus flowers in the middle.

Vir Chakra

Vir Chakra is the third-highest honorary gallantry award in India and is conferred to personnel for acts of gallantry in the presence of the enemy on the battlefield.

The medal is a circular silver medal. A five-pointed star, with the wheel or chakra in the centre, and, on this, the state emblem is inscribed. Around a plain centre, two legends separated by lotus flowers and “Vir Chakra” is embossed in Hindi and in English.

Ashoka Chakra

Ashok Chakra is conferred to civilians or military personnel for most conspicuous bravery or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice away from the battlefield.

The award design is circular in shape and “Ashok Chakra” is inscribed both in Hindi and English and these 2 versions are separated by 2 lotus flowers.

This award is equivalent to the US Army’s peacetime Medal of Honour and the British George Cross.

Kirti Chakra

This award is presented to the Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice away from the field of battle and is awarded to civilians as well as military personnel.

It is the peacetime equivalent of the Maha Vir Chakra and it comes in between Ashoka Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. Before 1967, the award was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II.

It is circular in shape and is made of silver. On the front, a replica of Ashoka Chakra in the centre is embossed and is surrounded by a lotus ring. On its reverse the words Kirti Chakra is embossed in both in Hindi and English; the versions being separated by two lotus flowers.

Shaurya Chakra

The Shaurya Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

The award is circular in shape and is toned bronze. In the centre, words “Ashoka Chakra” is surrounded by a lotus wreath and an ornate edge. On the reverse, the words “Ashoka Chakra” is inscribed in Hindi along the upper edge on the medal and the same name in English along the lower rim.

List of Gallantry Awards & Awardees 2019

Gallantry Awards Recipients
Vir Chakra Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, Flying (Pilot) – Air Force.
Ashok Chakra Lance Naik Nazir Wani(posthumously)- Army
Kirti Chakra 1. Sapper Prakash Jadhav, The Corps Of Engineers/First Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles (posthumous) – Army

2. Shri Harshpal Singh, Dy Commandant – CRPF.

Shaurya Chakra 1. Lieutenant Colonel Ajay Singh Kushwah, The Jammu And Kashmir Rifles/3rd Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles – Army.

2. Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, The Corps Of Electronic And Mechanical Engineers/55th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles (posthumous) – Army.

3. Captain Maheshkumar Bhure, The Corps Of Engineers/34th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles Army

4. Lance Naik Sandeep Singh, 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment (special Forces) (posthumous)- Army

5. Sepoy Brajesh Kumar, The Punjab Regiment/22nd Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles (posthumous) – Army.

6. Sepoy Hari Singh, The Grenadiers/55th Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles (posthumous) – Army.

7. Rifleman Ajveer Singh Chauhan, 6th Battalion The Garhwal Rifles – Army.

8. Rifleman Shive Kumar, The Jammu And Kashmir Light Infantry/31st Battalion The Rashtriya Rifles (posthumous) – Army.

9. Amit Singh Rana – Navy.

10. Shri Sable Dnyaneshwar Shriram, Constable – CRPF.

11. Shri Zaker Hussain, Constable – CRPF.

12. Shri Ashiq Hussain Malik, Special Police Official (posthumous) – MHA.

13. Shri Subash Chander, Head Constable – J&K MHA.

14. Shri Imran Hussain Tak, Sub Inspector (posthumous) – MHA.

List of Gallantry Awards & Awardees 2019:- Download PDF Here