The PVC was established on 26 January 1950 (
Republic Day of India), by the
President of India, but went into effect on 15 August 1947 (
Independence Day of India).
 It can be awarded to officers or enlisted personnel from all branches of the
 Provision was made in the event an individual was awarded the PVC twice. In this were to occur, they would receive a
bar and a replica of the
vajra (club), the weapon of
Indra, the god of heaven.
 To date, the award has not been conferred twice. It carries with it the right to use "PVC" as a post-nominal abbreviation.
The medal was designed by
Savitri Khanolkar, the wife of an
Indian Army officer, Vikram Khanolkar of the
 This was done following a request from the first Indian
adjutant general of India,
Hira Lal Atal, who had in turn been entrusted with the responsibility of coming up with an Indian equivalent of the
Victoria Cross by Pandit
Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first
prime minister of the
Indian Union. Coincidentally, the first Param Vir Chakra was awarded to her son-in-law Lt. Gen. Surinder Nath Sharma's elder brother,
Somnath Sharma, for his bravery in the
Kashmir operations in November 1947.
The medal is a circular
bronze disc 1.375 inches (3.49 cm) in diameter. On the front, the state emblem appears in the center on a raised circle surrounded by four copies of the vajra, the mythical weapon of Indra, the ancient
Vedic King of Gods. The motif symbolizes the sacrifice of
Dadhichi, who gave his bones to the Gods to make the vajra to kill the demon
Vritra. The medal is suspended from a straight swiveling suspension bar. On the rear, around a plain center, are two legends separated by
lotus flowers. The words Param Vir Chakra are written in
 A purple ribbon, 32 millimetres (1.3 in) long, holds the Param Vir Chakra.