Highest Civilian - Know About & Presidential of Freedom!

The Ex-President of Mr. has been recently honored with the highest Civilian in India ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 2019. Along with him, the famous social activist Nanaji and the music maestro have also been rewarded with ‘Bharat Ratna’. So, we know that ‘Bharat Ratna’ is a Civilian Award but do we know what a ‘Civilian Award’ really means? Read this article to know about the Highest Civilian Awards, International Highest Civilian Awards and more!

Highest Civilian Awards

The Indian Honours System is the arrangement of honours conferred to the people for different services to the Republic of India. A Civilian Award is the highest honour in India that can be given to an Individual for his/her exemplary services.

Highest Civilian Awards in India

Following are the top 4 Civilian Awards in India:

• Bharat Ratna - The highest civilian award • - The second highest civilian award • - The third highest civilian award • - The fourth highest civilian award

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To know in detail about The Top Civilian Awards in India - Check Here!

Highest Civilian Award Across the World

Apart from India, other countries in the world also hold their prestigious civilian awards. The following are the highest civilian awards of major countries across the world:

Region Civilian Award Afghanistan The Amir Amanullah Khan Award Algeria National of Merit (Algeria) Argentina Order de Mayo Cross of Valour The decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria Bangladesh Swadhinta Sammanona Order of Leopold Order of Great Victory of Thunder Dragon Brazil Order of Southern Cross Cambodia Royal Order of Cambodia Cross of Valour Chile The Order of Bernardo O'Higgins China Order of Brilliant Jade Czech Republic The Medal of Merit Egypt Order of the Nile Finland Order of the Cross of Liberty France National Order of the (Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur)

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Georgia National Hero of Georgia of Federal Republic of Germany of the Hungary Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary Order Order of Saint Stephen of Hungary Indonesia Bintang Republik Indonesia Iraq The Most Honourable Israel Itur Nesi Medinat Yisra’el Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum The Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya The Order of the Aztec Eagle (Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca) Mongolia Best Worker Nepal Man Padvai Order of Netherlands Lion Order of St Olav Nishan-e-Pakistan Philippines Quezon Service Class Poland Cross of Merit Russia Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle King Abdul Aziz Medal Order of Isabella the Catholic Sri Lanka Sri Lankabhimanya Turkey Order of Democracy United Arab Emirates The Order of Zayed

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The United States of Presidential Medal of Freedom America Order of Merit

International Highest Civilian Awards in Detail

Cross of Valour; Australia

• Establishment: 1975 • Form of Award: Medal; , straight-armed cross pattée with diminishing rays between the arms; ensign of of St Edward Australian Department of Veteran’s Affairs can grant ‘deoration allowance’ to the honoree. • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: "acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril" • Significance: Cross of Valour is the highest Australian Bravery Award. It has been awarded to 5 civilians till date. The honorees carry post-nominal initials CV. It can be also announced posthumously. • Honorees: Following is the list of the recipients: 1. Mr Darrell Tree, 1989 2. Mr Victor Boscoe, 1995 3. Senior Constable Allan Sparkes, 1998 4. Senior Constable Timothy Britten, 2003 5. Mr Richard Joyes, 2003

Bangladesh Swadhinta Sammanona; Bangladesh

• Establishment: It was first awarded on July 25, 2011. • The form of Award: A crest weighing three kilograms; designed on 400-year-old terracotta of ‘Kadam tree’; made of gold 4 | P a g e

• Associate acts of accomplishment: “recognition of substantial contribution in Bangladesh’s war of independence” • Significance: Bangladesh Swadhinta Sammanona, popularly known as ‘Bangladesh Freedom Honour’ is the highest award conferred by the Government of Bangladesh for foreigners and non-nationals. • Honorees: On July 25, 2011, Bangladesh Government rewarded this award to former Indian Prime post-death in recognition of her role during the Bangladeshi war of independence.

Order of Great Victory of Thunder Dragon; Bhutan

• Establishment: February 9, 1967, by King Jigme Wangchuck; reorganized by King Jigme Singye Wangchuk on Septemeber 29, 1967 • Form of Award: 60 mm ; a gold-plated back plate that consists of dorji with latticework; an enamelled national flag with beaded gold edge and a dragon mounted in gold. • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: “as the country’s principal civilian honour” • Significance: The award is conferred in two classes: 1. First class 2. Second class The award is known as the highest civilian decoration of Bhutan. The award comes with ‘DWG’ as the postnominal letter • Honorees: Following are the recipients of the award which was conferred on December 17, 2008: 1. Former Prime Minister of Bhutan, Jigme Yoser Thinley 2. Chief Justice of Bhutan,

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Order of Southern Cross; Brazil

• Establishment: December 1, 1822, by Emperor Pedro • Form of Award: Badge • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: "As a token of gratitude and recognition for those who have rendered significant service to the Brazilian nation." • Significance: Presently the Order consists of 1. 2. Six classes of members: A. Grand B. Grand Cross C. Grand Officer D. E. Office F. The ‘Southern Cross’ is based on the geographical location of the country (Under the constellation of Southern Cross). Also, it has been inspired by Terra de Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross). • Honorees: Following is the list of some notable recipients since 2011: 1. Rosen Pleceneliev, President of Bulgaria, 2016 2. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, 2015 3. Julio de Vido, Minister of Federal Planning, Services and Public Investment of Argentina, 2014 4. José Antonio Abreu, pianist, Venezuela, 2013 5. Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria, 2011 6. María Ángela Holguín, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, 2011

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Cross of Valour; Canada

• Establishment: May 1, 1972 • Form of Award: Medal - a cross of 4 equal limbs and rendered in gold; obverse enamelled in red; edges enamelled with gold; a gold maple leaf at the centre surrounded by a gold laurel wreath • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: “Acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril” • Significance: The award comes with the post-nominal letters ‘CV’. • Honorees: It was first awarded in the year 1972 on July 20. 1. Vaino Olavi Partanen CV CD, (posthumous) 20 July 1972 2. Lewis John Stringer CV CD, (posthumous) 20 July 1972 3. Mary Dohey CV RN, 1 December 1975 4. Kenneth Wilfrid Bishop CV, 5 April 1976 5. Jean Swedberg CV, (posthumous) 17 May 1976 6. Thomas Hynes CV, (posthumous) 11 September 1978 7. François Emeric Gaston Langelier CV, 2 April 1979 8. Amédéo Garrammone CV, 28 January 1980 9. Lester Robert Fudge CV, 6 April 1981 10. Harold Gilbert Miller CV MB, 6 April 1981 11. Martin Sceviour CV, 6 April 1981 12. Anna Ruth Lang CV, 7 June 1982 13. Robert Gordon Teather CV CD, 25 April 1983 14. René Marc Jalbert CV CD, 16 July 1984 15. David Gordon Cheverie CV SC, 13 June 1988 16. John Wendell MacLean CV, (posthumous) 30 October 1992 17. Douglas Fader CV, 16 June 1994 18. Keith Paul Mitchell CV, MMM, MSM, CD, 11 February 1998

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19. Bryan Keith Pierce CV MMM MSC CD, 11 February 1998 20. Leslie Arthur Palmer CV, 4 May 2006

Order of Merit of Federal Republic of Germany; Germany

• Establishment: September 7, 1951, by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss • Form of Award: Badge • Grand Cross special class: 8-pointed golden Star • Grand Cross 1st class: 6-pointed golden Star • Grand Cross: 4-pointed golden Star • Knight Commander (Grand Officer): Square-upon-point • Associate acts of accomplishment: “achievements that served the rebuilding of the country in the fields of political, socio-economic and intellectual activity” • Significance: The Order is classified into four groups: 7 regular and 2 special classes Official Denominations: 1. Grand Cross 2. Great Cross of Merit 3. Cross of Merit 4. Medal of Merit • Honorees: Total 257,000 awards have been conferred as of 31 December 2017.

National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur); France

• Establishment: May 19, 1802, by Bonaparte • Form of Award: Badge - a five-armed ‘Maltese Asterisk’in gilt, enamelled white; enamelled laurel and oak wreath between the arms • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: “Excellent civil or conduct” • Significance: It is awarded in the following classes

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Three ranks: Chevalier (knight) Officier (Officer) Commandeur (Commander) Two dignities: Grand officier (Grand Officer) Grand-croix (Grand Cross) • Honorees: This award has been conferred to a number of people across the world.

Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana; Italy

• Establishment: March 3, 1951, by the second President of the Italian Republic, Luigi Einaudi • Form of Award: badge • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: "merit acquired by the nation" • Significance: The award comes with the post-nominal letters ‘OMRI’. It is awarded for the extraordinary work and service in the fields of literature, arts, economy, public service, social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities, civilian and military services. • Honorees: The honour has been bestowed upon thousands of candidates since its inception as it has replaced several nationals orders such as: • Civil Order of Savoy (1831) • The Order of the Crown of Italy (1868) • The Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (1572) The Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (1362)

Nishan-E-Pakistan; Pakistan

• Establishment: March 9, 1957 • Form of Award:

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• Associate Acts of Accomplishment: given for the merit and extraordinary services to the nation, global community, and foreign relations • Significance: The award comes with the post-nominal letters ‘NPk’ • Honorees: The award has been awarded to 24 Foreign individuals during 1959 and 2019. , former received the honour on May 19, 1990.

Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle; Russia

• Establishment: 1698 (abolished under USSR before it was re-established in 1998) • Form of Award: Badge: enamelled crowned black double-headed eagle having a blue St. Andrew’s Cross. Star: eight-pointed silver star • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: Outstanding Service to the State • Significance: The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called is known as the ‘highest order of ’ of the Russian Federation. • Honorees: Recipients after its re-establishment: • Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn • Author Sergey Mikhalkov • Gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov • Mikhail Gorbachev, last general secretary of the CPSU • Lyudmila Zykina, national folk singer of Russia. • Valery Shumakov, founding father of organ transplants in Russia • Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu • Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachov • Poet Rasul Gamzatov • President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping • Dancer and choreographer Yury Grigorovich • Author Daniil Granin • President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev

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• Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow • President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev • Opera singer Irina Arkhipova

Presidential Medal of Freedom, USA

• Establishment: 1963 by President John F. Kennedy • Form of Award: Medal; badge: a golden star with white enamel, a red enamel pentagon behind it, the central disc bears thirteen gold stars on a blue enamel background within a golden . • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: "An especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors." • Significance: The highest civilian award is not restricted to the boundaries of the endeavoursan be awarded to foreign personnel. Though it is a Civilian award, the honorees from military personnel can also be chosen for the award. It should be worn on the uniform. • Honorees: President Barak Obama rewarded the highest number of that is 123 while, the President Ronald Reagan stood second to give the most number of medals that is 102.

George Cross, United Kingdom

• Establishment: September 24, 1940 • Form of Award: plain silver cross with a circular medallion in the centre; Height 48 mm. width 45 mm. • Associate Acts of Accomplishment: "... acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger." • Significance: Though it is a civilian award, military personnel can also be honoured

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with this award. Also, it comes with the post-nominal letters ‘GC’. In addition to this, all GC awards get published in ‘The London Gazette’. • Honorees: The total number of awards that have been conferred: 408 (2 collective awards), 90 - Posthumous

These were the highest civilian awards in the major countries across the world. However, there are a total of 195 countries in the world as of today. Each country has its own Order, Awards and Decoration system. These systems highly depend on the type of government in the country.

Hope this article was useful to know about the Highest Civilian Awards. Stay updated with more articles for competitive exams.

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