Bharat Rata(obverse)

Bharat Ratna ( 4 in any one year; in fact, this limitation has not even been i~ulfilled in many years, in which less than three awards of the were made. Thedecoration has been awarded to such Indian leaders as PrimeMinister and President . Aposthumous award was made to PrimeMinister after his death at Tashkent, USSRI,~In!i1966...... The Bharat Ratna is carried out in platinum, being done in the shape of a leaf. The Obverse shows a sunburst, be- neath which is the name of the decoration in : ~ ~-T~. The reverse shows the~State E~blem. th~ three lions of the ancient Emperor (ca. 273-232 B.C.). All of these devices are in burnished bronze. The Bharat Ratna is suspended round the neck from a white ribbon. Like all the other Indian decorations, it confers no title~ nobility or particular statusi other than the honor involved. PARAM : The is ’s highest award for valor~ comparable to the or Congressional , amd is awarded for "most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or!self-sacrlfice in the presence of the enemy, whether on land~ at sea or in the air." The Param Vir Chakra~ or PVC, was established on 26 January,~ 1950, but awards were made back to the day of independence, 15 August 1947. All ranks of the Army~ Navy, Militia, and other "law- fully constituted Armed Forces" are eligible for the award as well as nurses and other hospital staff and civilians ser- ving with the Armed Forces. Any recipient below commissioned rank receives a monthly life-time as a result of the award of the Param Vir Chakra; when he dies, the pension will continue to be paid to his next of kin for the remainder of their life. For those who are awarded the PVC the pension is 70 rupees per month andif they have received another dec- oration for bravery on the level of the ,othef pension is increased to Rs70/mo. Each additional award the PVC means an additional monthly pension of Rs20. In ad- dition, the individual Indian states grant a lump sum to any PVC winners from their area; while the ex~act te~rm~s vary great- ly, this award is usually around Rs4000 (about $500 US). The decoration is a round bronze medal~ bearing on the obverse four ~plicas of ’s VarJa, the thunderbolt weapon of the premier god o~ the ancient Indian pantheon. In the center is the State E~blem. The reverse is plain in the cen- ter, supposedly for engraving the details of award; around the edge is the name of the decoration In~ and English, sep- a~rated by twJo lotus flowers: ".~ ~ ~ /PARAM VIR CHAERA". ¯~ne medal is suspended from a stralght bar and hung from a I-I/4 inch plain purple ribbon. The Param Vir Chakra, like all other Indian decorations~ is worn on the left breast. Subsequent awards of the Param Vir Chakra are indicated by the addition of a bar to the suspension ribbon and the placing of a small bronze replica of Indra’s Varja on the ribbon bar. To date, no repeat awards of the PVC have been made. In sub- sequent paragraphs of this article I will present the reclp- lents of the Param Vir Chakra.