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.
- 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.
- 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.
Q1) What is Ashoka Chakra?
It was instituted on 04 Jan 1952 and renamed on 27 Jan 1967 to recognize the most conspicuous bravery or some act of daring or pre-eminent act of valor or self-sacrifice otherwise than in the face of the enemy.
Source: Parakram Diwas | Prime Minister names 21 Andaman islands after Param Vir Chakra awardees