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This medal is the highest peacetime military honour. It is conferred upon military personnel, members of the Police Force and Railway Protection Force, military nurses, and civilians in recognition of acts of discernible gallantry or self-sacrifice. It can be awarded posthumously.
Until 1967, this medal was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class II. Following 1967, the class based award system was abolished and the medals were renamed.
The reverse Hindi inscription reads as "Ashoka Chakra".
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