Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat retired today. Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane is the new army chief. He was until yesterday holding the post of deputy chief of army staff. Gen Naravane is the 28th army chief of the country.
On being promoted, Gen Naravane said, “I was waiting for this decision for a long time. I am very happy with this and it is a matter of great pride that this responsibility has been given to me. I will try my best to be able to do this work well.”
On the challenges in the job, he said, “It is too early to say anything about this. I have to think a little about what I will have to pay attention to in the coming years and during my tenure.”
Gen Naravane was born on 22 April 1960 in a Marathi family. His father was an officer in the IAF who retired from the post of wing commander.
The new army chief’s mother was an announcer in All India Radio (AIR) and his wife is a teacher by profession with 25 years of experience in teaching. Gen Naravane is the father of two daughters.
Gen Naravane completed his school education from Jnana Prabodhini Prashala in Pune. After completing school education, he prepared for and joined the National Defence Academy, Pune. He received training also from the Indian Military Academy Dehradun.
The new army chief, after securing a master’s degree in defence studies from the Madras University, did an MPhil in the subject of defence and management studies from Devi Ahilya University, Indore. He trained at the Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, and Army War College, Mhow.
Army chief Gen Naravane now leads 1.3 million soldiers of one of the most powerful armies of the world. As a lieutenant general, Naravane was the chief of the Eastern Command of the army before he became the vice chief of army staff. The Eastern Command covers the 4,000 km long India-China border.
Gen Naravane has had a long experience of working in the army. He has led a campaign against terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. He is known in the defence circles as an expert in China affairs.
Lt Gen Naravane was commissioned in the 7th Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980. He had the responsibility of a battalion of Rashtriya Rifles, which wreaked havoc on the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
He has also been the inspector general of Assam Rifles in the Northeast. He has served also in the Kharag Strike Corps at Ambala.
Lieutenant Gen Naravane was commissioned in June 1980 in the 7th Battalion of the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment. The army said in its statement that Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane has experience working in the most challenging areas. He has also received an army medal. He has also received ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ and ‘Ati Vishisht Seva Medal’ for services as Inspector Gen of Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland.
Gen Rawat, retiring from the post of army chief today, has been made the first chief of defence staff (CDS) of the country. While his name as the first CDS has been announced, he will take over the charge in the new year.