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 in the presence of the enemy. PVC is the post-Independence equivalent of the Victoria Cross.
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.
The medal was designed to symbolise Rishi Dadich who donated his thigh bones to gods for making Vajra and Shivaji’s sword Bhawani.
The medal is of 1-3/8 inch radius and is made of bronze. In the center, on a raised circle is the state emblem, surrounding which are the four replicas of Indra’s Vajra.
The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar.
On the rear, around a plain center, two legends separated by lotus flowers. The words Param Vir Chakra are written in Hindi and English.
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.
Param Vir Chakra winners so far :-
1. IC– 521 Major Som Nath Sharma, 4 Kumaon Regiment, November 3, 1947, Badgam Kashmir (posthumous)
2. IC-22356 Lance Naik Karham Singh M M, 1 Sikh Regiment, October 13, 1948, Tithwal Kashmir
3. SS-14246 Second Lt Rama Raghobe Rane, Corps of Engineers, April 8, 1948, Naushera, Kashmir
4. 27373 Naik Jadu Nath Singh, 1 Rajput Regiment, February 1948, Naushera, Kashmir (posthumous)
5. 2831592 Company Havildar Major Piru Singh, 6 Rajputana Rifles, July 17/18, 1948, Tithwal, Kashmir (posthumous)
6. IC-8497 Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria, 3/1 Gurkha Rifles, December 5, 1961, Elizabethville, Katanga, Congo (posthumous)
7. IC-7990 Major Dhan Singh Thapa, 1/8 Gurkha Rifles, October 20, 1962, Ladakh, India
8. JC-4547 Subedar Joginder Singh, 1 Sikh Regiment, October 23, 1962, Tongpen La, Northeast Frontier Agency, India (posthumous)
9. Major Shaitan Singh, Kumaon Regiment, November 18, 1962, Rezang La (posthumous)
10. 2639885 Company Havildar Major Abdul Hamid, 4 Grenadiers, September 10, 1965, Chima, Khem Karan Sector (posthumous)
11. IC-5565 Lieutenant-Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore, 17 Poona Horse, October 15, 1965, Phillora, Sialkot Sector, Pakistan (posthumous)
12. 4239746 Lance Naik Albert Ekka, 14 Guards, December 3, 1971, Gangasagar (posthumous)
13. 10877 (P) Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon, Indian Air Force, December 14, 1971, Srinagar, Kashmir (posthumous)
14. IC-25067 2/Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, 17 Poona Horse, December 16, 1971, Jarpal, Shakargarh Sector, (posthumous)
15. IC-14608 Major Hoshiar Singh, Grenadiers, December 17, 1971, Basantar River, Shakargarh Sector
16. Naib Subedar Bana Singh, 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, June 23, 1987, Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir
17. Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran, 8 Mahar Regiment, November 25, 1987, Sri Lanka (posthumous)
18. IC-57556 Captain Vikram Batra, 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, July 6, 1999
19. IC-56959 Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey, 1/11 Gorkha Rifles, July 3, 1999, Khaluber/Juber Top, Batalik sector, Kargil area, Jammu and Kashmir (posthumous)
20. No 2690572 Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers, July 4, 1999, Tiger Hill, Kargil area
21. Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, July 5, 1999