The conclusion of British Rule in India saw the end of the old institution of British awards and honours. British awards were basically made to please the anti-India elements. So after Independence;India changed this practice and introduced first three gallantry awards namely;
1. The Param Vir Chakra
2. The Mahavir Chakra
3. The Vir Chakra
These awards were instituted by the Government of India on 26th January, 1950 which were deemed to have effect from the 15th August, 1947.
Thereafter, three other gallantry awards i.e. the Ashoka Chakra Class-I, the Ashoka Chakra Class-II and the Ashoka Chakra Class-III were instituted by the Government of India on 4th January, 1952, which were renamed as the Ashoka Chakra, the Kirti Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra respectively in January, 1967.
These Gallantry Awards are announced twice in a year;
1. Occasion of the Republic Day
2. Occasion of the Independence Day
Order of precedence of these awards is the Param Vir Chakra, the Ashoka Chakra, the Mahavir Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Vir Chakra and the Shaurya Chakra.
Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is the highest gallantry award for officers and other enlisted personnel of all military branches of India for the highest degree of valour in the presence of the enemy.
In this article we have explained some interesting facts about the Mahavir Chakra.
The Mahavir Chakra (MVC) is the second highest military decoration in India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea or in the air. The Mahavir Chakra was instituted on 26 Jan 1950 to recognise the act of gallantry in the presence of the enemy.
The most MVCs awarded in a single conflict were in the lndo-Pakistan War of 1971, when eleven awards given to the Indian Air Force alone.
Till 2017, there are around 218 personnel have been awarded from this medal.
About the Formation of Medal:
1. The medal is circular in shape and made of standard silver, and is embossed on the obverse a five pointed heraldic star with the points of the star just touching the rim.
2. Medal shall be one and three eighth inches in diameter.
3. The State emblem (including motto) is embossed in the centre-piece. The star is polished and the centre piece is in gold gilt.
4. On the reverse it will have embossed Mahavir Chakra both in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers between Hindi and English.
Personnel Eligible: The following categories of personnel shall be eligible for the Mahavir Chakra:-
1. 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.
2. 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.
Conditions of Eligibility: The medal is awarded for gallantry in the presence of the enemy on land, at sea or in the air. The decoration may be awarded posthumously.
Monetary Allowance: Rs. 10,000/- pm and each bar to the decoration will carry the same amount of monetary allowance as admissible to the original award with effect from August 1, 2017.
Gallantry award winners do also get one-time cash awards or plots from their state governments but they vary state to state.
“Rewards ranges from Rs. 2 crore (PVC) and Rs. 1 crore (AC) in Punjab and Haryana for PVCs and Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Bihar give between Rs. 8 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh for ACs and PVCs while in Gujarat it is meagre Rs. 22,500 (PVC) and Rs. 20,000 (AC).
In the conclusion it can be said that any award in the battle field is encouraging for any military personnel for his/her contribution to serve the motherland.