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Param Vir Chakra
File:Param veer chakra.gif

Param Vir Chakra.png
Param Vir Chakra and its ribbon, the highest military decoration of India
Awarded by India
Type Medal
Eligibility Military personnel only
Awarded for "... most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air." [1]
Status Currently awarded
Established 26 January 1950
First awarded 3 November 1947
Last awarded 6 July 1999
Total awarded 21
Next (higher) None
Next (lower) Maha Vir Chakra

The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It can be, and often has been, awarded posthumously.

The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (the date of India becoming a republic), by the President of India, with effect from 15 August 1947 (the date of Indian independence). It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna (amendment in the statute on 26 January 1980 resulted in this order of wearing). It replaced the former British colonial Victoria Cross (VC), (see List of Indian Victoria Cross recipients).

Provision was made for the award of a bar for second (or subsequent) awards of the Param Vir Chakra. To date, there have been no such awards. Award of the decoration carries with it the right to use P.V.C. as a postnominal abbreviation.

The Ashoka Chakra is the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, and is awarded for the "most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice" other than in the face of the enemy. The decoration may be awarded either to military or civilian personnel and may be awarded posthumously.

The award also carries a cash allowance for those under the rank of lieutenant (or the appropriate service equivalent) and, in some cases, a cash award. On the death of the recipient, the pension is transferred to the widow until her death or remarriage. The paltry amount of the pension has been a rather controversial issue throughout the life of the decoration. By March 1999, the stipend stood at Rs. 1500 per month. In addition, many states have established individual pension rewards that far exceeds the central government's stipend for the recipients of the decoration.

Sanjay Kumar, Yogendra Singh Yadav and Subedar Major Bana Singh are the only serving personnel of the Indian defence establishment with a Param Vir Chakra.[2]


The medal was designed by Savitri Khanolkar (born Eva Yuonne Linda Maday-de-Maros to a Hungarian father and Russian mother) who was married to an Indian Army officer, Vikram Khanolkar. This was done following a request from the first Indian Adjutant General, Major General Hira Lal Atal, who in turn had been entrusted with the responsibility of coming up with an Indian equivalent of the Victoria Cross by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the Indian Union. Coincidentally, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded to her son-in-law Lt Gen Surinder Nath Sharma's (ENC) elder brother, Major Somnath Sharma for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947. He died while evicting Pakistani infiltrators and raiders from the Srinagar Airport. This was when India and newly formed Pakistan had the first war over the Kashmir issue.

The medal is a circular bronze disc 1.375 inches (3.49 cm) in diameter. The state emblem appears in the center, on a raised circle. Surrounding this, four replicas of Indra's Vajra (the all-powerful mythic weapon of the ancient Vedic King of Gods). The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar. It is named on the edge.

On the rear, around a plain center, are two legends separated by lotus flowers. The words Param Vir Chakra are written in Hindi and English.[3]

A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) long, holds the Param Vir Chakra. The medal symbolizes Rishi Dadhichi, who had donated his bones to the Gods for making Vajra. The Indian General Service Medal 1947 which contained the Bhavani sword was withdrawn later.[4]


Number Name Regiment Date Place Notes
IC-521 Major Som Nath Sharma 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment November 3, 1947 Badgam, Kashmir Posthumous
IC-22356 Lance Naik Karam Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment October 13, 1948 Tithwal, Kashmir
SS-14246 Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane Corps of Engineers April 8, 1948 Naushera, Kashmir
27373 Naik Jadu Nath Singh 1st Battalion, Rajput Regiment February 1948 Naushera, Kashmir Posthumous
2831592 Company Havildar Major Piru Singh Shekhawat 6th Battalion, Rajputana Rifles 17 July 1948–18 July 1948 Tithwal, Kashmir Posthumous
IC-8947 Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria 3rd Battalion, 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) December 5, 1961 Elizabethville, Katanga, Congo Posthumous
IC-7990 Major Dhan Singh Thapa 1st Battalion, 8th Gorkha Rifles October 20, 1962 Ladakh, India
JC-4547 Subedar Joginder Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment October 23, 1962 Tongpen La, Northeast Frontier Agency, India Posthumous
IC-7990 Major Shaitan Singh 13th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment November 18, 1962 Rezang La Posthumous
2639885 Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers September 10, 1965 Pakistan, Khem Karan Sector Posthumous
IC-5565 Lieutenant-Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore 17th Poona Horse October 15, 1965 Phillora, Sialkot Sector, Pakistan Posthumous
4239746 Lance Naik Albert Ekka 14th Battalion, Brigade of the Guards December 3, 1971 Gangasagar, Agartala Sector Posthumous
10877 F(P) Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon No.18 Squadron, Indian Air Force December 14, 1971 Srinagar, Kashmir Posthumous
IC-25067 2/Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal 17th Poona Horse December 16, 1971 Jarpal, Shakargarh Sector Posthumous
IC-14608 Major Hoshiar Singh 3rd Battalion, The Grenadiers December 17, 1971 Basantar River, Shakargarh Sector
JC-155825 Naib Subedar Bana Singh 8th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry June 23, 1987 Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir
IC-32907 Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran 8th Battalion, Mahar Regiment November 25, 1987 Sri Lanka Posthumous
IC-56959 Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey 1st Battalion, 11th Gorkha Rifles July 3, 1999 Khaluber/Juber Top, Batalik sector, Kargil area, Jammu and Kashmir Posthumous
2690572 Yogendra Singh Yadav 18th Battalion, The Grenadiers July 4, 1999 Tiger Hill, Kargil area
13760533 Rifleman Sanjay Kumar 13th Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles July 5, 1999 Area Flat Top, Kargil Area
IC-57556 Captain Vikram Batra 13th Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Rifles July 6, 1999 Point 5140, Point 4875, Kargil Area Posthumous


Members of the Indian Army at the India Gate war memorial in Delhi.

Of the 21 awardees, 20 are from the Indian Army and one from the Indian Air Force. The Grenadiers have received the most number of Param Vir Chakras, with 3 awards. The Gorkha Rifles have received 3 awards, with the 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) and 8th Gorkha Rifles and 11th Gorkha Rifles .


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