What are the awards and medals that will be given out on Republic Day?
- The Padma Awards are amongst the highest civilian awards given in India
- The Gallantry awards are given to soldiers who have committed outstanding deeds of bravery and sacrifice
- Rashtriya Bal Puraskar celebrates the exceptional talents among the young citizens of the country
On the occasion of Republic Day, celebrated on January 26 every year, several awards and medals are conferred upon nominated individuals. The awards are divided into a few categories based on the type of award and the recipients. Below listed are the several types of medals given out to the nominated military personnel or civilians:
Padma Awards: The Padma Awards, namely – Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri, are amongst the highest civilian awards in India after Bharat Ratna, and are given in various disciplines or fields of activity, such as social work, public affairs, art, science and engineering, medicine, trade, literature and education, sports etc.
‘Padma Vibhushan’ is distinguished for being awarded to those with exceptional service, while ‘Padma Bhushan’ is given out for exceptional service of high order. ‘Padma Bhushan’ is conferred upon individuals for distinguished service in any field. The awards and announced on Republic Day every year.
Gallantry Awards: Given to soldiers who have committed outstanding deeds of bravery and selfless service, the Bravery medals – Maha Vir Chakra, Vir Chakra and Param Vir Chakra – are suited to fit the most courageous, and were instituted by the Government of India on January 26, 1950.
Three other Gallantry Awards – Ashok Chakra Class I, Ashok Chakra Class II and Ashok Chakra Class III – named Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra later on, are the other three gallantry awards. These awards are announced on Republic Day and on the occasion of Independence Day in August every year.
President’s Police Medals: Conferred upon police officials who display either gallantry or distinguished service, the President’s Police Medal is given out on Republic Day as well as on Independence Day every year. The medal was originally called President’s Police and Fire Services Medal. While the medal for gallantry is awarded for display of gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals, the distinguished service medal is given to those having served in the police service or in the central security services for at least 21 years.
President’s Fire Services, Home Guards and Civil defence medals: Gallantry medals as well as medals for meritorious or distinguished services are given out to be individuals serving in the fire services, as home guards and civil defence officials.
As per the Directorate General of Fire Services, Civil Defences and Home Guards, the recommendations for the first two would have to be initiated by an officer not below the rank of District Commander or Controller of Civil Defence. The medals were instituted in October, 1974, and are awarded every year on the occasions of Republic Day and Independence Day based on recommendation from the respective State or Union Territory Government.
The President’s medals in Fire Service for distinguished service and gallantry were instituted in October, 1975 and follow a similar procedure of recommendation from the respective state or Union Territory government.
Correctional Services Medal: Based on recommendations from the All India Committee on Jail Reforms (1980-83) and later on a group of officers headed by RK Kapoor (1986), who were tasked with examining and reviewing the prevalent management and administration inside prisons, especially security and disciplinary situations inside India’s prisons.
As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, the President’s Correctional Service Medal for Gallantry and for meritorious service are given for either a specially distinguished record in correctional services, for success in organising service or maintaining the administration in special difficulties such as mass admission of prisoners, or outstanding ability in putting out riots, preventing escape of prisoners, rescuing officials, sportsmanship, public work and exemplary service marked by efficiency.
Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar: Formerly known as National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement, the award is given to recipients under the age of 18 years and is India’s highest civilian honour bestowed upon exceptional achievers for the same age group. Instituted in 1996 to recognise young talent with far-reaching capabilities, the award is usually conferred by the President of India in the week prior to the the Republic Day ceremony.
Jeevan Raksha Padak: A civilian lifesaving award presented by the Government of India, the Jeevan Raksha Padak is conferred upon civilians who have saved others from calamities such as drowning, fire or mining accidents. The award is categorised into three divisions – Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak, and Jeevan Raksha Padak.