Different Types Of Awards In India

Types Of Awards In India
Indian National Awards

List of the types of awards in India. In every society there must be a kind of reward for the diligence shown by those citizens who excel in their fields, or put in the extra work for the betterment of the people in general. Not rewarding the diligent would only dampen their morale, and encourage the corrupt and indolent among the people. Such a situation would only lead to a decline in the society and the country would soon be mediocre in all aspects of life.

India has recognized this for a long time, and so has put in place honors and titles to honor citizens who have proven themselves worthy of such accolades, as a symbol of honor presented to them for their achievements. In India, people are awarded for their excellence in various fields from film making to service to the nation. Indian awards are generally classified into four main types, namely, Civilian, Military, Leadership, and Literature awards. There are also other awards given for bravery, sports, etc.

 Civilian awards in India can be further broken down into Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awards. All Indian citizens regardless of race, occupation, position or sex, are equally eligible to receive these awards. There are military awards for bravery, for distinguished service in wartime as well as in peace. Let us not forget the awards for literature, for sports, for women and also for children. Let us now look at the awards one by one, starting with the civilian awards in India, and end it with those for children.

Types Of Awards In India

  • Civilian Awards
  • Military Awards
  • Leadership Awards
  • Literature Awards

The list of different types of awards under each categories listed above;

Civilian Awards

  • Bharat Ratna

The Bharat Ratna, was instituted in the year 1954, and is the highest civilian award of the country. Any person without regard to his race, occupation, position, gender or religion can receive this award if he distinguishes himself well enough. It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavor. When a person is conferred with this award, he receives a certificate which is signed by the President and a medallion.

  • Sardar Patel National Unity Award

The Sardar Patel National Unity Award is one of the highest civilian awards in india, only coming second after the Bharat Ratna. The award was instituted in the year 2019. To award any deserving person without consideration of race, occupation, position, gender or religion. The award is given in recognition of exceptional service/performance in the interest of the country in furtherance of the unity and the integrity of the nation. When a person is conferred with the award, the recipient also gets a certificate signed by the President, along with a medallion. 

  • Sardar Ratna (Sardar Patel International Awards for Lifetimes Achievements) 

The Sardar Ratna award is a relatively new award which is awarded for outstanding work and contributions for the betterment of the Indian society and the world in general. The award was instituted by the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Foundation, Trust, which was established on June 18, 2003. The award is named after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an extraordinary Indian national who was driven by the dream that no human being should be deprived of rights of survival, participation, protection, and development. He worked tirelessly to improve the situation of the underprivileged Indian citizen and so to help achieve a greater level of sustainable growth as well as human development. The award is open for all citizens regardless of race or religion, as well as work or education.  

  • Padma Awards

The Padma Awards are some of the oldest and most prestigious awards in India. They were instituted in the year 1954, and has been regulary conferred on deserving citizens except for brief interruptions during the years 1977 to 1980 and 1993 to 1997.  Typically, these awards have been announced every year on Republic Day. The award is further broken down into three categories namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, with the Padma Vibhushan being the most significant. 

    The Padma Vibhushan award for “exceptional and distinguished service.” Padma Vibhushan is the second-highest civilian award in India. This award is conferred to civilians who have shown extraordinary work ethic and zeal to serve the people.  

    The Padma Bhushan award for “distinguished service of a high order” is the third-highest civilian award in India.

   The Padma Shri award is conferred for “distinguished service”. Padma Shri is the fourth-highest civilian award in India, and is a highly coveted award.

Types Of Awards In India
Indian National Awards

Military Awards

Just as there awards available for extraordinary service by civilians in india, so are there awards for servicemen, or military personnel who have shown themselves to be extraordinary servants of their country. These awards are broken down into wartime awards and peacetime awards, and conferred to Indian military personnel of extraordinary valor. We highlight them below:

  • Wartime Awards

    The Param Vir Chakra is the highest military award, in India, equivalent to the Victoria Cross which was discontinued when India gained its independence from Britain.

    The Maha Vir Chakra  is the second highest military decoration in India. This coveted award is awarded for acts of gallantry in the face of danger posed by an enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air.

    The Vir Chakra is the third highest wartime military award, conferred for acts of valor in armed conflict.

  • Peacetime gallantry awards

The following awards are conferred for exemplary acts of valor when there is no war declared. This could be at times of aggression from an undisclosed enemy, or at times of a natural disaster. 

    Ashoka Chakra – The Ashoka Chakra is an Indian military decoration awarded for acts of valour, courage, or self-sacrifice done outside the battlefield. This is the highest peacetime military award, therefore making it the peacetime equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra.

    Kirti Chakra – the Kirti Chakra is the second most prestigious peacetime military award conferred to military personnel for acts of fortitude.

    Shaurya Chakra – the Shaurya Chakra is the third highest in order of precedence of the peacetime awards for gallantry in India.

  • Wartime/Peacetime service awards

The following is awarded during war or peacetime: Sena Medal / Nau Sena Medal / Vayu Sena Medal

  • Wartime Distinguished Service

The following awards are conferred for diligent service during wartime. They are equally important, although slightly different because they are not all about bravery, but hard work and tenacity.

    The Sarvottam Yudh Seva Medal

    The Yudh Seva Medal

    The Uttam Yudh Seva Medal

  • Peacetime Distinguished Service

The following are awarded to military personnel who work diligently at their posts during peacetime.

    The Param Vishisht Seva Medal

    The Vishisht Seva Medal    

    The Ati Vishisht Seva Medal

  • Literature awards

Of course there are awards for those who excel as writers, novelists, investigative journalists, and so on.

    Jnanpith Award is the highest Award for excellence in Literature of India

    Sahitya Akademi Award is the second highest.

    Sahitya Akademi Fellowship is what comes before the Sahitya Akademi award. 

    Saraswati Samman comes next,

    Then you have the Vyas Samman 

    And lastly the Bhasha Samman

  • Sports Awards

The following awards are given to those who excel in the area of sports.

    Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest, and then you have Dronacharya award,

    Arjuna award,  Dhyan Chand Award. 

  • National Awards

    Some national awards are Champions of Change (award) by Swachh Bharat Mission and NITI Aayog

  • Women Awards

    Nari Shakti Puraskar for women who excel in their various fields.

  • Children Awards

The following awards are conferred to children who have shown themselves to have extraordinary values.

    National Bal Shree Honour  and Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puruskar

  • Translation Awards

The following awards are given to people who excel in the field of translation. 

   Anand Coomarswamy Fellowships

    Premchand Fellowship

It is important to note the following:

Unlike national honors, the Padma awards do not come with cash allowances, benefits, or special concessions in during rail/air travel. Recent changes which took effect on December 1995 stipulate that no titles or honorifics are associated with the Bharat Ratna or any of the Padma awards. That means that honorees cannot use them or their initials as suffixes, prefixes. This includes any such use on letterheads for business, invitation cards, posters, books and so on. If a person is found to misuse the award, the awardee will forfeit the award.

That’s all about the list of types of awards in India.


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