The Maha Veer Chakra is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy whether on land, at sea or in the air.
Following categories of persons are eligible for the Maha Veer Chakra:
- Men and women officers of all ranks of the Naval, Military and Air Forces, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army, Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.
- Matrons, Sisters, Nurses and the Staff of the Nursing Services and other Services 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.
Provision was made for the award of a bar for a second award of the Maha Veer Chakra, the first two being awarded in 1965. More than 218 acts of bravery and selfless courage have been recognized since the inception of the medal. The most Maha Veer Chakras awarded in a single conflict was in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, when eleven MVC were given to the Indian Air Force.
The medal is made of standard silver and is circular in shape. Embossed on the obverse is a five pointed heraldic star with circular center-piece bearing the gilded state emblem of India in the centre. The words “Maha Veer Chakra” are embossed in Devanagari and English on the reverse with two lotus flowers in the middle. The decoration is worn on the left chest with a half-white and half-orange riband about 3.2 cm in width, the orange being near the left shoulder.