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Vetting process for next Army Chief begins

New Delhi, June 29, 2019: The vetting process for selection of the next Army Chief has begun, with a list of five top officers being considered for the post after the retirement of incumbent General Bipin Rawat at the end of the year.

Updated:Saturday, June 29, 2019, 00:09

Vetting process for next Army Chief beginsNew Delhi, June 29, 2019: The vetting process for selection of the next Army Chief has begun, with a list of five top officers being considered for the post after the retirement of incumbent General Bipin Rawat at the end of the year.

The government faces a tough choice for what has now become a selection process where the old convention of seniority no longer applies. At the top of the list are the Northern and Eastern Army commanders -- both of whom have rich operational and command experience and a good track record when it comes to anti-insurgency operations.

Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is currently the Eastern army Commander, would be the seniormost officer of the Indian Army when General Rawat retires in December end. The Sikh Light Infantry officer has commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Kashmir, has served in the Assam Rifles and has been posted as the defence attache to Myanmar.

His posting as the head of the Army’s Training Command in December 2017 had raised eyebrows as it is considered a backwater that carries no operational experience. However, in September 2018, a game of musical chairs was played with the top brass of the Army that saw him shifted to the operationally sensitive Eastern Command that has delivered several Army Chiefs in the past.

The Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, who became the face of the surgical strikes when he announced operations along Myanmar and in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), also has an enviable career record. The government broke from tradition by choosing him as the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) in 2016 despite him being approved to command a Corps level formation.

Source: The Economic Times

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