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This medal is conferred upon Indian Armed Forces personnel and civilians, including members of the Police Forces, Railway Forces, and Paramilitary Forces, for acts of gallantry or self-sacrifice not in direct conflict with the enemy. It can be awarded posthumously.
This medal is often awarded for service in Counter-Insurgency operations against the enemy.
Until 1967, this medal was known as the Ashoka Chakra, Class III. Following 1967, the class based award system was abolished and the medals were renamed.
There are bars added to the ribbon to signify additional acts of gallantry or self-sacrifice.
The reverse features inscriptions in Hindi and English. The Hindi inscription reads as "Ashoka Chakra". This inscription changes on the post-1967 version of this medal.
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