India gets a new military boss

  • Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (retd), a former eastern Army commander and director general of military operations, was on Wednesday appointed as India’s new Chief of Defence Staff, more than nine months after the post fell vacant following the death of Gen Bipin Rawat.
  • Additional role: Sixty-one-year-old Chauhan will also function as secretary, the Department of Military Affairs, with effect from the date of his assumption of charge, the defence ministry said.
  • Career highlights: In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Chauhan held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India. He retired from the service in May last year.
  • NDA alumnus: Lt Gen Anil Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
  • A decorated officer: For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Chauhan (retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.
  • Rawat’s successor: Gen Rawat, who died in a helicopter crash on December 8 last year, had taken charge as India’s first CDS with a mandate to bring convergence in the functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force and bolster the country’s overall military prowess.
  • Theatre commands: Another key mandate of the CDS was to facilitate the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of theatre commands.
  • Rules tweaked: In June, the government amended rules paving the way for appointment of any serving or retired Lt General, Air Marshal and Vice Admiral under the age of 62 to the post of CDS.
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