Chiefs Of Army Staff: India

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Chiefs Of Army Staff: India

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The source of this article

INDIA 2012

A REFERENCE ANNUAL

Compiled by

RESEARCH, REFERENCE AND TRAINING DIVISION

PUBLICATIONS DIVISION

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA


Name Tenure

General Maharaj Rajendra Sinhji .................................... 1 April 1955-14 May 1955

General S.M. Srinagesh ..................................................... 15 May 1955-7 May 1957

General K.S. Thimayya ..................................................... 8 May 1957-7 May 1961

General R.N. Thapar ......................................................... 8 May 1961-19 November 1962

General J.N. Choudhuri ................................................... 20 November 1962-7 June 1966

General P.P. Kumaramangalam ....................................... 8 June 1966-7 June 1969

General S.H.F.J. Manekshaw ........................................... 8 June 1969-31 December 1972

Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw ................................. 1 January 1973-14 January 1973

General G.G. Bewoor ........................................................ 15 January 1973-31 May 1975

General T.N. Raina ............................................................ 1 June 1975-31 May 1978

General O.P. Malhotra ...................................................... 1 June 1978-31 May 1981

General K.V. Krishna Rao................................................. 1 June 1981-31 July 1983

General A.S. Vaidya .......................................................... 1 August 1983-31 January 1986

General K. Sunderji ........................................................... 1 February 1986-30 April 1988

General V.N. Sharma ......................................................... 1 May 1988-30 June 1990

General S.F. Rodrigues ...................................................... 1 July 1990-30 June 1993

General B.C. Joshi .............................................................. 1 July 1993-18 November 1994

General S. Roychowdhury ............................................... 22 November 1994-30 September 1997

General V.P. Malik ............................................................. 1 October 1997-30 September 2000

General S. Padmanabhan ................................................. 30 September 2000-31 December 2002

General N.C. Vij ................................................................. 1 January 2003-31 January 2005

General J.J. Singh ............................................................... 1 February 2005 - 30 September 2007

General Deepak Kapoor ................................................... 30 September 2007-31 March 2010

General V.K. Singh ............................................................ 31 31 March 2010 - 31 May 2012)

Gen Bikram Singh ........................................................... 1 Jun 2012 to 31 Jul 2014

General Dalbir Singh Suhag...........................................................1 Aug-2014 to 31 December 2016

General Bipin Rawat...........................................................31 December 2016..

Trends in appointment

Superseding the seniority principle

1983: Appointment of General A S Vaidya

The Times of India, December 18, 2016

Rajat Pandit

Lt Gen S K Sinha had quite in protest in 1983 after being superseded by Gen A S Vaidya -since serving under a junior is unacceptable in the extremely hierarchy-conscious force. The government stuck to the seniority principle in appointment of the then next IAF chief by announcing that Air Marshal Birendra Singh Dhanoa will replace Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on December 31.

2016: Appointment of General Bipin Rawat

The Times of India, December 18, 2016

Govt ignores seniority norm to name new Army chief

Rajat Pandit 

In a move that evoked criticism for junking the long-enshrined seniority principle in appointing Service chiefs, the government appointed Lt General Bipin Rawat on Saturday night as the next Army chief, superseding two Lt Generals.

Lt General Bipin Rawat (infantry), who took over as the Army vice-chief in September 2016, bypassed Eastern Command chief Lt Gen Prave en Bakshi (armoured corps) and Southern Army Command chief Lt Gen P M Hariz (mechanised infantry).

Even though it's well within the right of a government to appoint whoever it wants as the next chief, successive dispensations have almost always followed the seniority principle.

In the case of the Army chief, Lt General Bipin Rawat superseded Eastern Command chief Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Command chief Lt Gen Pattiarimmal Mohamed Hariz.

While Lt Gen Bakshi was commissioned in December 1977, Lt Gen Hariz was commissioned in June 1978. Lt Gen Rawat, in turn, was commissioned into the fifth battalion of the 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978.

Successive dispensations have almost always followed the seniority principle to anoint new military chiefs but there have been exceptions, although few and far between -Indira Gandhi superseded Lt Gen S K Sinha to appoint Gen A S Vaidya as the Army chief in 1983; Air Chief Marshal S K Mehra became IAF chief by superseding Air Marshal Man Mohan Singh in 1988. Lt Gen Sinha, of course, quietly resigned but went on to later become governor of both Assam and J&K, and also served as India's ambassador to Nepal.

Why Lt Gen Rawat was chosen Army chief

Why Lt Gen Bipin Rawat was chosen as Army chief, The Times of India

The Centre has faced strong criticism from the Congress for choosing new Army Chief Lt Gen Rawat over two senior officers, Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Let Gen P M Hariz. Defence ministry sources defended the Narendra Modi-government's decision, saying Lt Gen Rawat was the appropriate choice given the current circumstances.

Why was Lt Gen Rawat chosen instead of his seniors? Here's everything you need to know, in five points

1. Seniority principle

In theory, the government is free to choose whomever it wants to lead any of the Armed Forces, but the seniority principle has almost always been followed.

The last time a senior officer was superseded for the appointment of an Army Chief was in 1983 - more than two decades ago - when then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi chose Gen A S Vaidya over Lt Gen S K Sinha.

2. The most suitable candidate

According to defence ministry sources, Lt Gen Rawat was found to be the best suited among the lieutenant generals to deal with emerging challenges - including a reorganized and restructured military force in the north, continuing terrorism and proxy war from the west, and the situation in the North-East.

Ministry sources also cited his operational assignments as Commanding Officer of 19 Division in Jammu and Kashmir, his outstanding track record, his familiarity with the functioning of the Army HQ and Ministry of Defence in his capacity as Vice Chief and his "general dynamism" as reasons for his appointment.

He was chosen because he was deemed to be suitable at a time "when the threat from Pakistan and China has increased," and his appointment isn't "a reflection on anyone else," a government source said yesterday.

3. Experience

A top government official said Lt Gen Rawat had received the sword of honour at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, and had over 10 years of hands-on experience in counter-insurgency operations, and that he'd served at both the Line of Control (with Pakistan) and the Line of Actual Control (with China).

He has served the Army at various functional levels for three decades: he was involved in the 1986 Operations in the Eastern Sector facing China, was also posted in Pulwama in the 19 Division, and has handled operational responsibilities in the North East, defence ministry sources said. '

His experience as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Army Command in Mechanised Warfare has been focused towards the western borders, in coordination with the other two services, they added.

4. Compassion and connect with civil society

Lt Gen Rawat is also known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, his compassion, and his connect with civil society, sources said.

5. Lt Gens Bakshi and Hariz

On the other hand, Lt Gens Bakshi and Hariz have "very limited operational experience in J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) and elsewhere," a top government official said.

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