Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Param Vir Chakra
The Param Vir Chakra is an Indian military decoration given for valour in combat operations. It is considered to be India's highest military honor. The second word is pronounced 'Veer'. The name is sometimes abbreviated as PVC. It literally means 'Cross of the Ultimate Brave' (Sanskrit: Param, Ultimate; Vir (Pronounced veer), Brave; Chakra, Wheel or Cross)
The medal is made of bronze.
The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is the highest gallantry award for officers and other enlisted personnel of all military branches of India for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously and, indeed, most of the awards have been posthumous.
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 award also carries a cash allowance for those under the rank of second lieutenant (or the appropriate service equivalent) and, in some cases, a lump-sum cash award. On the death of the recipient, the pension was transferred to the widow until her death or remarriage. This 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 for the recipients of the decoration.
The PVC was established on January 26, 1950, by the President of India, with effect from August 15, 1947, and presently it is the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna (amendment in the statute on January 26, 1980 resulted in this order of wearing).
The medal was designed by Mrs Savitri Khanolankar (born Eva Yuonne Linda Maday-de-Maros to a Hungarian father and Russian mother) who was married to an Indian Army officer. By sheer coincidence, the first PVC was awarded to her son-in-law Major Som Nath Sharma for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947. He died while evicting Pakistani raiders from 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 with a 1-3/8 inch (approximately 3.5 centimetre) diameter. In the center, on a raised circle, the state emblem. Surrounding this, four replicas of Indra's Vajra (the all-powerful mythic weapon on the ancient Vedic god of war). The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar. It is named on the edge.
The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar.
The ribbon which holds the PVC is of 32 mm length and purple in colour. The award carries a cash allowance for those under the rank of second lieutenant (or the appropriate service equivalent) and, in some cases, a lump-sum cash award. Subedar Major Bana Singh of the 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry was the only serving personnel of the Indian defence establishment with a PVC till the Kargil operations.
The medal was designed to symbolise Rishi Dadich who donated his thigh bones to gods for making Vajra and Shivaji's sword Bhawani.
Param Vir Chakra winners so far (chronologically):
- IC-- 521 Major Som Nath Sharma, 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment , November 3, 1947, Badgam Kashmir (posthumous)
- IC-22356 Lance Naik Karham Singh M M, 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment , October 13, 1948, Tithwal Kashmir
- SS-14246 Second Lt Rama Raghobe 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, 6th Battalion, Rajputana Rifles, July 17/18 , 1948, Tithwal , Kashmir (posthumous)
- IC-8497 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)
- Major Shaitan Singh, 13th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment , November 18, 1962, Rezang La (posthumous)
- 2639885 Company Havildar Major Abdul Hamid, 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers, September 10, 1965, Chima, 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 (posthumous)
- 10877 (P) Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, 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
- Naib Subedar Bana Singh, 8th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry , June 23, 1987, Siachen Glacier , Jammu and Kashmir
- Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran, 8th Battalion, Mahar Regiment , November 25, 1987, Sri Lanka (posthumous)
- IC-57556 Captain Vikram Batra, 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, July 6, 1999 (posthumous)
- IC-56959 Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1st Battalion, 11th Gorkha Rifles, July 3, 1999, Khaluber/Juber Top, Batalik sector, Kargil area, Jammu and Kashmir (posthumous)
- No 2690572 Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18th Battalion, The Grenadiers, July 4, 1999, Tiger Hill, Kargil area
- Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, July 5, 1999
Some additional information on Captain Vikram Batra (Codename: 'Sher Shah'): He was 24-years old. Played an instrumental role in recapturing Peak 5140, Peak 4875 and others during the Kargil campaign. Victory Callsign: 'Yeh Dil Maange More' (This heart wants more). See http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/Articles/Article20.html
Incidentally, both Major Sharma (The first recipient) and Captain Batra belong to the same village, Palampur, in India's Himachal Pradesh state.
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