Indian Military award its brave soldiers for showing exceptional courage during wartime. These are called gallantry awards.
The highest gallantry wards in India are:
1. Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
2. Maha Vir Chakra (MVC)
3. Vir Chakra (VrC)
1. Param Vir Chakra (PVC):
It is India's highest military decoration similar to the British Victoria Cross, US Medal of Honor, or French Legion of Honor or Russian Cross of St. George. It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military. It is the also the second highest award of the government of India after Bharat Ratna.
The medal is a circular bronze disc 1.375 inches in diameter. The state emblem appears in the center, on a raised circle. Surrounding this, four replicas of Indra's Vajra. 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. The medal symbolizes Rishi Dadhichi, who had donated his bones to the Gods for making Vajra.
List of PVC Awardees:
1. Major Som Nath Sharma (1947, Posthumous)
2. Lance Naik Karam Singh (1948)
3. Second Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane (1948)
4. NaikJadu Nath Singh (1948, Posthumous)
5. Company Havildar Major Piru Singh Shekhawat (1948, Posthumous)
6. Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria (1961, Posthumous)
7. Major Dhan Singh Thapa (1962)
8. Subedar Joginder Singh (1962, Posthumous)
9. Major Shaitan Singh (1962, Posthumous)
10. Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid (1965, Posthumous)
11. Lieutenant-Colonel Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore (1965, Posthumous)
12. Lance Naik Albert Ekka (1971, Posthumous)
13. Flying Officer Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon (1971, Posthumous) [Only Awardee from Air Force]
14. 2/Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal (1971, Posthumous)
15. Major Hoshiar Singh (1971)
16. Naib Subedar Bana Singh (1987)
17. Major Ramaswamy Parameshwaran (1987, Posthumous)
18. Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey (1999, Posthumous)
19. Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav (1999)
20. Rifleman Sanjay Kumar (1999, Posthumous)
2. Maha Vir Chakra (MVC):
It is the second highest military decoration in India.
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 center. The words "Mahavira Chakra" are embossed in Devanagari and English on the reverse with two lotus flowers in the middle. The decoration is worn on the left breast with a half-white and half-orange riband about 3.2 cm in width, the orange being near the left shoulder.
List of PVC Awardees:
More than 155 individuals have been honoured with the awards since its inception. The most MVCs awarded in a single conflict was in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, when eleven were given to the Indian Air Force.
People who won MVC Twice:
A provision was made for the award of a bar for a second award of the Maha Vira Chakra.
These are SIX Great Soldiers who were awarded a first bar:
1. Wing Commander Jag Mohan Nath (1962 and 1 1965)
2. Major General Rajindar Singh (1948 and 1965)
3. General Arun Shridhar Vaidya (1965 and 1971)
4. Wing Commander Padmanabha Gautam (1965 and 1971)
5. Colonel Chewang Rinchen (1948 and 1971)
6. Brigadier Sant Singh (1965 and 1972)
3. Vir Chakra (VrC):
Vir Chakra is the third highest Indian gallantry award presented for acts of bravery in the battlefield.
Vir Chakra Medal:
The medal is 1-3/8 inch circular silver medal. A five pointed star, with the chakra in the center, and, on this, the domed gilded state emblem. The decoration is named on the rim and suspended from a swiveling straight-bar suspender. The decoration is almost always named and dated on the edge. Around a plain center, two legends separated by lotus flowers; above Vir Chakra in Hindi and in English. The ribbon is 32 mm, half dark blue and half orange-saffron. Dark blue 16 mm, saffron 16 mm.
People who won Vir Chakra Twice:
A provision was made for the award of a bar for a second award of the Veer Chakra. The ten known awards of bars are:
1. Subadar Har Singh (1947 and 1948)
2. Risaldar Kartar Singh Gill (1948)
3. Subadar Major Bhim Chand (1948)
4. Major General Venkatapathy Rangaswami (1948 and 1951)
5. Air Commodore Anthony Ignatius Kenneth Suares (1950 and 1961)
6. Group Captain Puroshotam Lal Dhawan (1950 and 1962)
7. Lieutenant Colonel Satish Chandra Joshi (1948 and 1965)
8. Air Marshal Vinod Kumar Bhatia (1965 and 1971)
9. Wing Commander Vinod Kumar Neb (1965 and 1971)
10. Air Vice Marshal Bhupendra Kumar Bishnoi (1965 and 1971)
11. Nab Subadar Gurdev Singh Hans (1971).
12. Capt.V.S Sharma (1971)