President of India, Ram Nath Kovind presented Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations in Defence Investiture Ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Gallantry Awards have been instituted by the Government of India to honour the acts of bravery and sacrifice of the officers/personnel of the Armed Forces as well as other lawfully constituted forces and civilians. The order of precedence of these awards is Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.
Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman was accorded the Vir Chakra by President Ram Nath Kovind for his role in pushing back Pakistan’s fighter jets in February 2019. Abhinandan Varthaman was Wing Commander then. In the ensuing aerial dogfight, he shot down a Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft on February 27, 2019.
President Kovind accorded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award Kirti Chakra (posthumously) to Sapper Prakash Jadhav for neutralising terrorists in an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife and mother received the award.
- Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was accorded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his role in an operation where five terrorists were eliminated and 200 kg explosive material was recovered. His wife Lt Nitika Kaul and mother received the award.
- Naib Subedar Sombir was accorded the Shaurya Chakra posthumously for killing an A++ category terrorist during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir. His wife Suman Devi and mother Rajendra Devi received the honour.
- The President also conferred the Shaurya Chakra to Major Maheshkumar Bhure who is an alumnus of Sainik School Satara. According to the citation, Major Bhure led an operation in which six top terrorist commanders were killed.
About the Gallantry Awards:
The prestigious awards are usually conferred to the awardees/Next-of-Kins (NoKs) by the President at the Defence Investiture Ceremony held every year at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The gallantry awards are announced twice a year first on the occasion of Republic Day and then on Independence Day. The order of precedence of these awards is Param Vir Chakra, Ashoka Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Vir Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.