The Param Veer 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 is the post-Independence equivalent of the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor or Russian Cross of St. George. It can be and often has been, awarded posthumously.
Param Veer means "Bravest of the Brave" in Sanskrit.
The PVC is the highest gallantry award.
Award of the decoration carries with it the right to use PVC as a post-nominal abbreviation.
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 posthumously awarded to her son-in-law, Major Somnath Sharma for his bravery in the Kashmir operations in November 1947.
The medal symbolises great sage, Dadhich, who, according to the Indian mythology, 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 centre, 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 swivelling suspension bar. On the rear, around a plain centre, 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, 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, was the only serving personnel of the Indian defence establishment, with a PVC till the Kargil operations.
- Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Dhan Singh Thapa, 1/8 GR, was the other surviving PVC awardee, till the Kargil operations. He was awarded the PVC, when he was a Major.
PVC Awardee (26th Jan 2011)
Colonel Hoshiar Singh PVC (Grenadiers) IC-14608