In a sensational development, General Manoj Mukund Naravane took charge as the Chief of Army Staff and has succeeded General Bipin Rawat. General Naravane extended his contribution as vice chief of the Army before taking charge of the 1.3 million strong Indian Army.
In his 37 years of exemplary service to India, General Naravane has worked in several command and staff appointments in peace, field and highly active counter-insurgency environments in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast regions.
In fact, he has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Jammu and Kashmir including an infantry brigade on the eastern front.
Before being recruited as vice chief of the Army, General Naravane was leading the Army’s Eastern Command that takes complete care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.
Meanwhile, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has been announced as country’s first Chief of Defence Staff. General Rawat was selected as Chief of Defence Staff just a day before he was set to call it quits from the service after successfully finishing a full three-year term as the Chief of Army Staff.
It should be noted that General Rawat is the first officer to hold the coveted post of the Chief of Defence Staff, which was set up just days ago.
The Chief of Defence Staff will function as a single-point advisor to the government on information related to the military while focusing on better cooperation between the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
It has been learnt that General Bipin Rawat was the front-runner for the post. Going through the profile on the Indian Army’s website, General Rawat commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, which is an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley and a corps in the Northeast.
General Rawat was recruited as the Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016 and was to retire tomorrow. Now that it is very clear that he will continue his service as the Chief of Defence Staff.
During Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the chief of defence staff post. It should be noted that a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), though a four-star officer of either the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force, will be senior to the service chiefs and only single point of contact between the armed forces and the Prime Minister.
General Bipin Rawat managed several operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the Line of Control with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control with China including the North-East.