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Param Vir Chakra

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Param Vir Chakra

Param Vir Chakra and its ribbon, the highest military decoration of India
Awarded by Republic of India
Country India
Type Military award
  • "Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces."[1]
  • "Matrons, Sisters, Nurses and the staff of the Nursing Services and other Service pertaining to Hospitals and Nursing, and Civilians of either sex serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, directions or supervision of any of the above-mentioned Forces."[1]
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
Post-nominals PVC
Established 26 January 1950
First awarded 3 November 1947[a]
Last awarded 6 July 1999
Total awarded 21
Next (higher) Bharat Ratna[3][4]
Next (lower) Ashoka Chakra[b][4][3]

The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India's highest military decoration awarded for the displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime. The name of the award translates as the "Wheel of the Ultimate Brave".[6][7] PVC is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.[8][9]

A number of central and state governments and ministries of India provide several allowances and rewards to recipients of the PVC (or his family members in case of the recipient's death).


The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (Republic Day of India), by the President of India, but went into effect on 15 August 1947 (Independence Day of India).[2][6] It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military.[10] Provision was made in the event an individual was awarded the PVC twice. In this were to occur, they would receive a bar and a replica of the vajra (club), the weapon of Indra, the god of heaven.[6] To date, the award has not been conferred twice. It carries with it the right to use "PVC" as a post-nominal abbreviation.[2]


The medal was designed by Savitri Khanolkar, the wife of an Indian Army officer, Vikram Khanolkar of the Sikh Regiment.[11] This was done following a request from the first Indian adjutant general of India, Major General Hira Lal Atal, who had in turn 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 elder brother, Major Somnath Sharma, for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947.[9]

The medal is a circular bronze disc 1.375 inches (3.49 cm) in diameter. On the front, the state emblem appears in the center on a raised circle surrounded by four copies of the vajra, the mythical weapon of Indra, the ancient Vedic King of Gods. The motif symbolizes the sacrifice of Rishi Dadhichi, who gave his bones to the Gods to make the vajra to kill the demon Vritra. The medal is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar. 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.[9][12] A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) long, holds the Param Vir Chakra.[9]


The three living recipients of the Param Vir Chakra: Yogendra Singh Yadav, Bana Singh and Sanjay Kumar.

The medal has been awarded 21 times, of which 14 were posthumous awards, and 16 were awards for action in Indo-Pakistani conflicts.[13][14] Of the 21 awardees, 20 have been from the Indian Army, and 1 has been from the Indian Air Force. The Grenadiers have received the greatest number of Param Vir Chakras, with three awards. The various Gorkha Rifle regiments of the Indian Army have received three awards, with the 1, 8, and 11 Gorkha Rifle regiments each having one PVC recipient.[15]

Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra posthumously in 1971, is the only Indian Air Force officer to date to have been honoured with the Param Vir Chakra.[6][15][16] Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar, and Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav, are the only active duty PVC recipients in the Indian Army.[14]

  This along with the *, indicates that the Param Vir Chakra was awarded posthumously.

Name Unit Date of action Conflict Place of action Citations
Somnath Sharma 4 Kumaon 3 November 1947* Battle of Badgam Badgam, J & K, India [17][15][18]
Jadu Nath Singh 1 Rajput 6 February 1948* Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 Naushera, J & K, India [15][18][19]
Rama Raghoba Rane Bombay Sappers 8 April 1948 Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 Naushera, J & K, India [15][18][20]
Piru Singh Shekhawat 6 Rajputana Rifles 17 July 1948* Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 Tithwal, J & K, India [15][18][21]
Karam Singh 1 Sikh 13 October 1948 Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 Tithwal, J & K, India [15][18][22]
Gurbachan Singh Salaria 3/1 Gorkha Rifles[c] 5 December 1961* Congo Crisis Élisabethville, Katanga, Congo [15][18][23]
Dhan Singh Thapa 1/8 Gorkha Rifles 20 October 1962 Sino-Indian War Ladakh, J & K, India [15][18][24]
Joginder Singh Sahnan 1 Sikh 23 October 1962* Sino-Indian War Tongpen La, NEFA, India [15][18][25]
Shaitan Singh 13 Kumaon 18 November 1962* Sino-Indian War Rezang La, J & K, India [15][18][26]
Abdul Hamid 4 Grenadiers 10 September 1965* Battle of Asal Uttar Khemkaran, India [15][18][27]
Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore 17 Poona Horse 15 October 1965* Battle of Chawinda Phillora, Sialkot, Pakistan [15][18][28]
Albert Ekka 14 Guards 3 December 1971* Battle of Hilli Gangasagar, Agartala, India [15][18][29]
Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon No. 18 Squadron[d] 14 December 1971* Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 Srinagar, J & K, India [15][18][30]
Arun Khetarpal 17 Poona Horse 16 December 1971* Battle of Basantar Barapind-Jarpal, Shakargarh, Pakistan [15][18][31]
Hoshiar Singh 3 Grenadiers 17 December 1971 Battle of Basantar Basantar River, Shakargarh, Pakistan [15][18][32]
Bana Singh 8 JAK LI 23 May 1987 Operation Rajiv Siachen Glacier, J & K, India [15][18][33]
Ramaswamy Parameshwaran 8 Mahar[e] 25 November 1987* Operation Pawan Sri Lanka [15][18][34]
Manoj Kumar Pandey 1/11 Gorkha Rifles 3 July 1999* Operation Vijay Khaluber /Juber Top, J & K, India [15][18]
Yogendra Singh Yadav 18 Grenadiers 4 July 1999 Battle of Tiger Hill Tiger Hill, J & K, India [15][18]
Sanjay Kumar 13 JAK Rifles 5 July 1999 Kargil War Kargil, J & K, India [15][18]
Vikram Batra 13 JAK Rifles 5 July 1999* Operation Vijay Kargil, J & K, India [15][18]

Allowances and rewards for the awardees

Beyond the obvious honour, 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. Upon the death of the recipient, the pension is transferred to the widow until her death or remarriage. In the case of a posthumous recipient who is a bachelor, the allowance is paid to his father or mother. In the case of the award being conferred posthumously on a widower, the allowance is to be paid to his son or unmarried daughter.[35] A monthly stipend of 10,000 rupees is given the awardee.[36] The award amount and pension benefits are exempted from income tax. In addition, different ministries under the Central Government have various awards for PVC winners.[37]

Allowances by state governments

Many Indian states have established individual pension rewards that far exceed the central government's stipend for recipients of the decoration.[37]

Cash amount States awarding
₹3.1 million Haryana
₹3 million Punjab
₹2.5 million
₹2 million
₹1.5 million
₹1 million


There is a provision for the cancellation of the award by the President of India. If an awardee's award is cancelled, his or her name is removed from the register, and they must return the medal. The President can also withdraw an award cancellation order. Any notice of cancellation or restoration is published in the Gazette of India.[35]

In popular culture

The TV series, Param Vir Chakra (1990), which focuses on the lives of Param Vir Chakra winners, was directed by Chetan Anand. The first episode of the series featured the first recipient of the award, Major Som Nath Sharma of the Kumaon Regiment.[38][39][40]

The Bollywood film LOC Kargil (2003) gives an account of all of the PVC recipients from the Kargil War. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey is played by Ajay Devgan, Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav is played by Manoj Bajpayee, Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar is played by Sunil Shetty, and Captain Vikram Batra is played by Abhishek Bachchan.[41]



  1. ^ The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (Republic Day of India) by the President of India, but went into effect on 15 August 1947.[2]
  2. ^ Though Ashoka Chakras is placed below the PVC in the order of precedence, it is considered as a peacetime equivalent to Param Vir Chakra.[5]
  3. ^ Attached to the United Nations Peace Keeping Force stationed in Congo.
  4. ^ No. 18 Squadron belongs to the Indian Air Force.
  5. ^ Attached to the Indian Peace Keeping Force stationed in Sri Lanka.


  1. ^ a b c "Param Vir Chakra". Gallantry Awards. Indian Army. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "11 Facts You Need To Know About The Param Vir Chakra". Indiatimes. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Precedence Of Medals". Indian Army. Retrieved 17 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Chakravorty 1995, p. 40.
  5. ^ "Awards Warb" (PDF). warb-mha. p. 1. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Param Vir Chakra (PVC)". India: National Portal of India. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  7. ^ Higgins 2016, p. 42.
  8. ^ NCERT 2016, p. 11.
  9. ^ a b c d Priya Aurora (27 December 2013). "7 Facts Average Indian Doesn’t Know About Param Vir Chakra". Topyaps. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  10. ^ "PARAM VIR CHAKRA". Indian Army. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Satyindra Singh (20 June 1999). "Honouring the Bravest of the Brave". The Tribune, Chandigarh. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Sumit Walia (23 January 2009). "The first Param Vir Chakra". Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  13. ^ NCERT 2016, p. 5.
  14. ^ a b "Other States / West Bengal News : Living with war memories that never fade". The Hindu. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Indiatimes News Network (25 January 2008). "Param Vir Chakra winners since 1950". Times of India. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  16. ^ "Indian Air Force :: Param Vir Chakra". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 75–76.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Rishabh Banerji (15 August 2015). "21 Param Vir Chakra Winners Every Indian Should Know And Be Proud Of". Indiatimes. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 56–57.
  20. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 67–68.
  21. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 65–66.
  22. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 60–61.
  23. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 69–70.
  24. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 79–80.
  25. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 58–59.
  26. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 73–74.
  27. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 49–50.
  28. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 77–78.
  29. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 52–53.
  30. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 71–72.
  31. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 62–63.
  32. ^ Chakravorty 1995, pp. 54–55.
  33. ^ Chakravorty 1995, p. 51.
  34. ^ Chakravorty 1995, p. 64.
  35. ^ a b Chakravorty 1995, p. 48.
  36. ^ "Param Vir Chakra IN". Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  37. ^ a b "How do we Reward the Men in Uniform? A look at the reward extended to Gallantry Award Winners". Factly. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  38. ^ Madhu Jain (15 August 1990). "Mandi House hardsells Kashmir in its serial 'Gul Gulshan Gulfam'". India Today. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "Goldie commands respect even 10 years after death". Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  40. ^ "Maker of innovative, meaningful movies". The Hindu. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  41. ^ "LOC-Kagil: How `real'?". Retrieved 5 September 2016. 


Further reading

External links

  • "Param Vir Chakra winners since 1950". The Times of India. 
  • PVC Awardees
  • "India's Param Vir Chakras now available in rare comic book series". India: ANI News. 22 July 2010. 
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