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Hope Army will rise to greater heights under the new Army Chief: Gen Bipin Rawat

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

Outgoing Army Chief General Bipin Rawat receives the Guard of Honour in the forecourt of the South Block, New Delhi, December 31, 2019.   -  Twitter/ @adgpi

Outgoing Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday thanked all the army personnel and their families for extending full support to him in his three year tenure at the helm of the 1.3 million force.

“My solemn gratitude to all ranks, soldiers who have laid down their lives in line of duty, Veer Mata, Veer Nari and veterans. My compliments to soldiers on Northern, Western and Eastern front braving the icy cold winters,” he said.

Gen Rawat also congratulated Gen Mukund Naravane who took charge as the nation's 28th Army chief today.

“I convey my best to each and every rank and file of Indian Army. I also congratulate Gen Naravane on being the next Army Chief. He is a very competent and capable officer. Gen Naravane through his competence and professionalism will take Army to greater heights,” Gen Rawat said.

When asked if the Army is better prepared now to face the security challenges facing the country he said: “Yes, we are better prepared.”

 

Gen Rawat, also interacted with media persons after receiving the Guard of Honour in the forecourt of the South Block, also paid respects to the fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial on a chilly winter day.

Gen Rawat assumed charge as Chief of Army Staff on December 31, 2016 and retires from the post after a distinguished career. Before becoming the Army Chief, he handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the Northeast.

New role

On Monday, Gen Rawat was appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He will look at the functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force.  A key mandate of the CDS will be to facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.

As the CDS, Gen Rawat will also helm the newly created department of military affairs.

Asked about his priorities as the CDS, he said, “I totally focussed on my job as a Chief of Army Staff. I will think about my next job after I assume the next office.”

Gen Rawat will be able to serve as CDS for a period of up to three years, after the government amended the rules extending the age of retirement to 65 years.

According to a government order which was issued on Monday, Gen Rawat has been appointed as the CDS with effect from December 31.

Also read: Govt has started on wrong foot on CDS appointment: Congress

The Cabinet Committee on Security had, in a landmark decision last week, approved the creation of the CDS who will act as the principal military adviser to the Defence Minister on all matters relating to tri-services.  Officials said bringing about jointness in logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years will also be another major mandate of the CDS.

The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS, and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.

The CDS will also be member of Defence Acquisition Council, which is chaired by the Defence Minister, and the Defence Planning Committee, which is chaired by the NSA.

A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil war in 1999 had called for appointment of a CDS as a single-point military adviser to the defence minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of the CDS post in his Independence Day speech this year.

Published on December 31, 2019
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