From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Param Vir Chakra
Mains level : Not Much
Prime Minister named 21 largest unnamed islands of Andaman & Nicobar Islands after India’s 21 Param Vir Chakra awardees.
Note: Earlier, Ross Island was renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep by the Prime Minister during his visit to the Island in 2018. Neil Island and Havelock Island were also renamed Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep.
Here’s the full list of 21 islands renamed after Param Vir Chakra awardees:
- Dhan Singh Island after Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Dhan Singh Thapa
- Tarapore Island after Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore
- Karam Singh Island after Lance Naik (Hony. Captain) Karam Singh
- Bana Island after Naib Subedar Bana Singh
- Ekka Island after Lance Naik Albert Ekka
- Khetrapal Island after 2nd Lt Arun Khetrapal
- Pandey Island after Lt Manoj Kumar Pandey
- Hoshiar Island after Major Hoshiar Singh
- Shaitan Island after Major Shaitan Singh
- Jadunath Island after Nayak Jadunath Singh
- Yogender Island after Subedar Major (Hony. Captain) Yogendra Singh Yadav
- Hamid Island after Company Quartermaster Havildar (CQMH) Abdul Hamid
- Rane Island after 2nd Lt Rama Raghoba Rane
- Ramaswamy Island after Major Ramaswamy Parameswaran
- Batra Island after Captain Vikram Batra
- Joginder Island after Subedar Joginder Singh
- Salaria Island after Captain G S Salaria (then Major)
- Piru Island after Company Havildar Major Piru Singh
- Somnath Island after Major Somnath Sharma
- Sekhon Island after Flying Officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon
- Sanjay Island after Subedar Major (then Rifleman) Sanjay Kumar
About Param Vir Chakra (PVC)
- The PVC is India’s highest military decoration, awarded for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime.
- Till now, the medal has been awarded 21 times, of which 14 were posthumous and 16 arose from actions in Indo-Pakistani conflicts.
- Of the 21 awardees, 20 have been from the Indian Army, and one has been from the Indian Air Force.
- Major Somnath Sharma of the Kumaon Regiment was the first recipient.
- Others wartime gallantry awards are Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra; and peacetime gallantry awards include- Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.
History of gallantry awards in India
- The history of present-day Indian gallantry awards can be traced back to the rule of the East India Company.
- The first formal award was instituted by Lord William Bentinck in 1834 as the Order of Merit, later renamed the Indian Order of Merit in 1902.
- During the First World War, the British awards system was adopted and continued through the Second World War.
- Post-independence, new awards were instituted on 26 January 1950, with retroactive effect from 15 August 1947.
- The PVC is equivalent to the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom and the Medal of Honor in the United States.