Facts About ‘Param Vir Chakra’ Highest Military Decoration of India

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New Delhi: We have heard about India’s highest military decoration Param Vir Chakra but are not aware of facts related to the awards. The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration bestowed for highest degree of valour and courage for the self-sacrifice while battling the enemy.

So far the medal has been awarded 21 times, 14 of which were awarded posthumously.

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

The medal was designed by Savitri Khanolkar who was married to an Indian Army officer, Vikram Khanolkar of Sikh Regiment.[6] 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 Vajra, the all-powerful mythic weapon of Indra, the ancient Vedic King of Gods. The motif symbolizes the sacrifice Rishi Dadhichi, who had donated his bones to the Gods for making Vajra to kill demon Vritra. The Indian General Service Medal 1947 which contained the Bhavani sword was withdrawn later. 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.

A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) long, holds the Param Vir Chakra.

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 various Gorkha Rifle regiments of the Indian Army have also received 3 awards, with the 1 Gorkha Rifles and 8 Gorkha Rifles and 11 Gorkha Rifles each having a PVC recipient.

The TV series, Param Vir Chakra (1990) directed by noted film director Chetan Anand was on the lives of Param Vir Chakra winners. The first episode of the series featured the first recipient of the award, Major Som Nath Sharma of Kumaon Regiment.[9]

The Bollywood movie LOC Kargil gives an account of all of the PVC recipients from the Kargil War where Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey is played by Ajay Devgan, Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav is played by Manoj Bajpai, Naib Subedar Sanjay Kumar is played by Sunil Shetty and Captain Vikram Batra is played by Abhishek Bachchan.

Recipients

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