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The Minister for Human Resource and Development, Prakash Javadekar has launched Students for soldiers- a nationwide Vidya – Veerta Abhiyan to encourage Universities and educational institutions across the country to display portraits of Param Veer Chakra-decorated soldiers.
The portraits of Param Veer Chakra decorated soldiers were handed over to the Vice Chancellors of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Jammu and IIT Delhi, among others, to put it in their educational institutions. The “wall of heroes” depicting portraits of brave soldiers who showed exemplary bravery in defending the nation is expected to instil a sense of patriotism and nationalism among students.
This initiative has been launched in the wake of the demand made by the ex-servicemen that portraits of martyrs and tanks used in wars be showcased in the universities and educational institutions to instil a sense of nationalism and patriotism among the students. Last year, the HRD Ministry had also unveiled Veergatha books on the 21 Param Veer Chakra awardees for educating school children about the sacrifices made by the Param Veer Chakra awardees.
Param Veer Chakra
The Param Veer Chakra (PVC) is India’s highest military decoration awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the Indian military for displaying distinguished acts of valour during wartime. It is given for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, in the presence of the enemy, whether on land, at sea, or in the air.” The Param Veer Chakra (PVC) is equivalent to the Medal of Honor in the United States and the Victoria Cross in the United Kingdom.
The award was established on 26 January 1950 and since then has been awarded 21 times, of which 14 were posthumous awards and 16 has been awarded for acts of bravery committed during the Indo-Pakistani conflicts. Of the 21 awardees, 20 have been from the Indian Army, and 1 has been from the Indian Air Force. The design of the medal was designed by Savitri Khanolkar, the wife of an Indian Army officer, Vikram Khanolkar of the Sikh Regiment.