Explained: What awards are given to the recipients on Republic Day?
New Delhi, Jan 25: As one thinks of Republic Day, the pictures that come to mind are usually those of marching soldiers, tableaux, and the display of India's weaponry. However, another equally important event that takes place on Republic Day is the award presentation ceremony. These awards are given to the police officers, defence personnel, and children for their gallantry and bravery.
This year's Republic Day, a muted affair, will not see the parade of gallantry awardees and children who have won the bravery award.
However, What are these awards? And who felicitates the recipients? Here are the answers.
The Padma Awards
It can be seen that the Padma Awards are the highest civilian awards in the country. They comprise of three categories based on the scale of the awardee's achievement - The highest being Padma Vibhushan, followed by Padma Bhushan, and lastly, Padma Shri.
It can be seen that the award winners are announced on the eve of Republic Day - January 25 - and are felicitated by the President of India around March or April.
The Gallantry Awards
This award is honoured to the country's military personnel. As many as six awards are honoured to the recipients to show of gallantry and valiance. The Param Vir Chakra, given for displaying acts of valour during wartime, is India's highest military decoration.
The Ashoka Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra, and Shaurya Chakra are the other awards, listed in descending order of their honour.
The President's Police Medals
The President awards three medals - one for meritorious service, followed by distinguished service, and another for gallantry - to law enforcement personnel in the country. The Police Medal was originally called the President's Police and Fire Service Medal when it was established in 1951.
The Meritorious Service medals are usually given to police and law enforcement agencies personnel who have stayed true and committed to enforcing the law of the land for at least 15 years. Of the three, it is the lowest honour that is bestowed upon a recipient.
The Distinguished Service Medal is given to those who have served for over 21 years, and were previously felicitated with the meritorious service medal, which must have been kept for at least six years.
The Gallantry medal is bestowed upon those law enforcement personnel who display "gallantry in saving life and property, or in preventing crime or arresting criminals."
Correctional Services Medals
The President also awards prison personnel for their 'meritorious' and 'distinguished' efforts in rendering the special services that they are tasked with. They are also given a gallantry award like their law enforcement peers.
While there is no limit on the number of awardees for the Gallantry Medal, 25 receive the Distinguished Service Medal, while 75 receive the Meritorious Service Medal. These medals are bestowed upon those with an exceptional record, for having managed their duties during mass admission of prisoners, or handling riots and preventing the escape of prisoners.
Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar
Since 1996, the Prime Minister has felicitated children between the age of 5-18 for exceptional achievements across various fields on Republic Day. Along with the medal, they also receive a certificate, citation, and a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
There are six fields of achievement for which children are awarded - Sports, Innovation, Social Service, Scholastic, Arts and Science, and Bravery.
The President's Fire Medals
The President awards fire personnel with two medals - one for gallantry, and another for distinguished service. A medal is also awarded for meritorious service.
Home Guard and Civil Defence Honours
Home Guard and Civil Defence personnel are honoured with the President's Home Guards and Civil Defence Gallantry Medal and the Home Guards nad Civil Defence Medal for Meritorious Service.
Jeevan Raksha Padak
The Government of India awards civilians, law enforcement and defence personnel who save lives - from drowning, from electrocution, fire accidents or in rescue operations. Started in 1961, the award has three categories - Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak, and Jeevan Raksha Padak.