President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday approved awards of 409 Gallantry and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces personnel and others on the eve of 71st Republic Day celebrations. A total of 19 top Indian Army commanders were awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM). The Army Commanders who were awarded the Param Vashishth Seva Medal include – Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) Lt Gen Satinder Kumar Saini.
Out of the 19 Officers who were awarded the PVSM, three were Major General-ranked officers. Besides, Indian Army commnders, six Indian Air Force and ther Indian NAvy officers were also awarded the PVSM. The government of India awarded Uttam Yiudh Seva Medal (UYSM) to four Indian Army Officers including Kargil war Hero Lt Gen Yogesh Kumar Joshi and Commander of Chinar Corps Lt Gen Kanwaljeet SIngh Dhillon. The other two officers who were conferred with the UYSM were Lt Gen Paramjit SIngh Sangha and Rajiv Sirohi. General Bipin Rawat Conferred With Param Vishisht Seva Medal in Recognition of Peace-Time Services.
Besides PVSM and UYSV, other awards approved by the President include – 53 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals, 10 Yudh Seva Medals, 123 Vishisht Seva Medals, four Bar to Sena Medals (Gallantry), 107 Sena Medals (Gallantry), five Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry), fourVayu Sena Medals (Gallantry), four Bar to Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), 36 Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), eight Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), one Bar to Vayu Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) and 13 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty).
Two IAF helicopter pilots – Squadron Leaders Ninad Anil Mandavgane and Siddharth Vashisht- who were killed by friendly fire in Jammu and Kashmir, the day when the Pakistan Air Force fighter jest violated the Indian air space were also awarded Vayu Sena Medal poshumously.
This year, Shaurya Chakra was awarded to six Indian Army personnel for showing bravery against all odds. Shaurya Chakra, the third highest gallantry award during peace time, was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Jyoti Lama, Major KB Singh, Naib Subedar Narender Singh, Naib Subedar Sombir, Naik Naresh Kumar and Sepoy Karmdeo Oraon. Three policemen – Challapilla Narasimha Rao, Kamal Kishore and Aman Kumar were also awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously).