About the Awards

Post-independence, first three gallantry awards namely the Param Vir Chakra, the Maha Vir Chakra and the Vir Chakra were instituted by the Government of India on 26th January, 1950 which were deemed to have effect from the 15th August, 1947.

Thereafter, other three gallantry awards i.e. the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, the Ashoka Chakra Class-II and the Ashoka Chakra Class-III were instituted by the Government of India on 4th January, 1952, which were deemed to have effect from the 15th August, 1947. These awards were renamed as the Ashoka Chakra, the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra respectively in January, 1967.

These gallantry awards are announced twice in a year - first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day. Order of precedence of these awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra.

DESIGN OF THE MEDAL AND RIBBON

Param Vir Chakra

Medal:  Circular in shape, made of bronze, one and three eighth inches in diameter and shall have embossed on the obverse four replicas of "Indra's Vajra" with the State Emblem embossed in the centre. On its reverse, it shall have embossed “PARAM VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the Hindi and the English inscriptions.
Ribbon: Plain purple coloured ribbon.
Bar: If any recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of bravery as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of bravery shall be recorded by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended, and for every such additional act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added, and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every Bar awarded a replica of the "Indra's Vajra" in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Mahavir Chakra

Medal:  Circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three eighth inches in diameter, and shall have embossed on the obverse a five-pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim. The star shall have in the centre a domed gilded State Emblem. On the reverse, it shall have embossed “MAHA VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the Hindi and the English inscriptions.
Ribbon: The ribbon is of a half-white and half-orange colour.
Bar: If any recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of bravery as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of bravery shall be recorded by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended, and for every such additional act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added, and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every Bar awarded a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Vir Chakra

Medal: Circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three eighth inches in diameter, and shall have embossed on the obverse a five-pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim. The star shall have in the centre a Chakra and within the Chakra shall be a domed centre piece bearing the gilded State Emblem. On the reverse, it shall have embossed “VIR CHAKRA” both in Hindi and in English with two lotus flowers between the Hindi and the English inscriptions.
Ribbon: The ribbon is of half blue and half orange in colour.
Bar: If any recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of bravery as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of bravery shall be recorded by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended, and for every such additional act of bravery, an additional Bar shall be added, and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every Bar awarded a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Ashoka Chakra 

Medal: Circular in shape, one and three eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. The medal shall be of gold gild. On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath. Along the rim, on the inner side, shall be a pattern of lotus leaves, flowers and buds. On its reverse shall be embossed the words “Ashok Chakra” both in Hindi and English the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers..
Ribbon: Green colour ribbon divided into two equal segments by an orange vertical line.
Bar: If a recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of gallantry as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of gallantry shall be recognised by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended and, for every subsequent act of gallantry, an additional Bar shall be added and any such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every Bar awarded a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Kirti Chakra

Medal: Circular in shape and of standard silver, one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath. Along the rim, on the inner side, shall be a pattern of lotus leaves, flowers and buds. On its reverse shall be embossed the words “KIRTI CHAKRA” both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.
Ribbon: Green colour ribbon divided into three equal parts by two orange vertical lines.
Bar: If a recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of gallantry as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of gallantry shall be recognised by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended and, for every subsequent act of gallantry, an additional Bar shall be added and such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every such Bar, a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Shaurya Chakra

Medal: Circular in shape and made of bronze, one and three-eighth inches in diameter, with rims on both sides. On the obverse of the medal shall be embossed a replica of Ashoka’s Chakra in the centre, surrounded by a lotus wreath. Along the rim, on the inner side, shall be a pattern of lotus leaves, flowers and buds. On its reverse shall be embossed the words “SHAURYA CHAKRA” both in Hindi and English, the two versions being separated by two lotus flowers.
Ribbon: Green colour ribbon divided into four equal parts by three vertical lines.
Bar: If a recipient of the Chakra shall again perform such an act of gallantry as would have made him or her eligible to receive the Chakra, such further act of gallantry shall be recognised by a Bar to be attached to the riband by which the Chakra is suspended and, for every subsequent act of gallantry, an additional Bar shall be added and such Bar or Bars may also be awarded posthumously. For every such Bar, a replica of the Chakra in miniature shall be added to the riband when worn alone.

Investiture Ceremony

Gallantry awards along with some other Defence Distinguished Service awards are conferred to the awardees/Next-of-Kins (NoKs) by the President at the Defence Investiture Ceremony held every year at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. However, the Param Vir Chakra and the Ashoka Chakra are conferred by the President to the awardees/NoKs on the occasion of the Republic Day Parade at the Rajpath.