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. The majority of the recipients, fourteen out of twenty one, were awarded posthumously.Literally meaning 'Wheel (or Cross) of the Ultimate Brave, it is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States, and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (Republic Day of India), by the President of India, with effect from 15 August 1947 (Independence Day of India). It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the highest gallantry award of the Government of India after Ashoka Chakra,(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, with a replica of the Vajra, the weapon of Indra, the god of heaven.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. The stipend stood at Rs. 10,000 per month in August 2014. In addition, many states have established individual pension rewards that far exceeds the central government's stipend for the recipients of the decoration.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.
Most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air.
Officers, men and women of all ranks of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, of any of the Reserve Forces, of the Territorial Army Militia and of any other lawfully constituted Armed Forces.