Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was awarded Vir Chakra which is a wartime gallantry award, by the President of India.
- The 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.
- Post-Independence, first three gallantry awards namely Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Vir Chakra were instituted by the government of India on January 26th 1950 which were deemed to have effect from August 15th,1947.
- Thereafter, other three gallantry awards — the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, the Ashoka Chakra Class-II and the Ashoka Chakra Class-III — were instituted in 1952, which were deemed to have effect from August 15, 1947.
- These awards were renamed as Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra respectively in January 1967.
People Eligible for the Awards:
- All officers of all ranks of the Army, Navy and the Air Force or of any of the reserve forces, territorial army and any other lawfully constituted armed forces.
- In addition to the above-mentioned personnel, matrons, sisters, nurses, alongside the staff of the nursing services and other services pertaining to hospitals and nursing and civilians, both male and females, serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned forces.
Wartime Highest Gallantry Awards:
Param Vir Chakra:
- It is India’s highest military decoration awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime whether on land, at sea or in the air.
Maha Vir Chakra:
- It is the second highest gallantry award for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy whether on land, at sea or in the air.
- It is the country’s third-highest wartime gallantry award after Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.