Param Vir Chakra

Param 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.

Subedar Major Bana Singh of the Eighth Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry was the only serving personnel of the Indian defence establishment with a Param Vir Chakra till the Kargil operations.

Read more about Param Vir Chakra:  Design, Recipients, Regiments

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