What is Param Vir Chakra?

Jan. 24, 2023

The Prime Minister recently named the 21 largest unnamed islands of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands after 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.

About Param Vir Chakra:

  • It is India's highest military decoration awarded for the highest degree of valour or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy.
  • The Param Vir Chakra was introduced on January 26, 1950, on the first Republic Day with retrospective effect from 15 August 1947.
  • Literally, Param Vir Chakra means 'Wheel (or Cross) of the Ultimate Brave'.
  • It can be awarded posthumously.
  • It is similar to the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor or Russian Cross of St. George.
  • Design:
  • The medal was designed by Mrs. Savitri Khanolkar.
  • The medal is cast in bronze and circular in shape.
  • In the centre, on a raised circle, is the state emblem, surrounded by four replicas of Indra's Vajra, flanked by the sword of Shivaji.
  • On its reverse, it shall have embossed Param Vir Chakra both in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers between Hindi and English. The fitting will be swivel mounting.
  • The decoration is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar, and is held by a 32 mm purple ribbon.
  • First winner: Major Somanth Sharma, from the Kumaon regiment.
  • Till now, only 21 people had been given the Param Vir Chakra award of which 14 are posthumous.


Gallantry Awards:

  • They have been instituted by the Government of India to honour the acts of bravery and sacrifice of the officers/personnel of the Armed Forces, other lawfully constituted Forces and civilians.
  • They are announced twice in a year - first on the occasion of the Republic Day and then on the occasion of the Independence Day.
  • India’s Gallantry Awards in the order of precedence:
  • Param Vir Chakra
  • Ashoka Chakra
  • Mahavir Chakra
  • Kirti Chakra
  • Vir Chakra
  • Shaurya Chakra.