Indian Army To See New Leadership By End Of Month; Who Will Be Next CDS? By Aritra Banerjee
The Indian Army is slated to see a leadership change by the end of the month as the present top brass hang their uniforms. The office of the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) and Northern Army Command, Udhampur, are some of the high profile appointments that will see the baton’s passing.
The Government of India is also mulling over the selection of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) after General Bipin Rawat’s death in an Indian Airforce Mi-17 helicopter crash led to a sudden void in India’s top defence appointment.
Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, presently serving as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, Kolkata, will take over the reins as VCOAS from Lt Gen. CP Mohanty, who will retire on 31 January. Lt Gen. Rana Prateep Kalita will succeed Lt Gen. Pande as Eastern Army Commander.
Lt Gen. Kalita is presently serving as Deputy Chief at Army Headquarters (AHQ), New Delhi, Global Defense Insight learnt. GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen. YK Joshi, will be succeeded by Lt Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, who presently serves as Deputy Chief at AHQ.
All eyes are on the appointment of the following CDS, which several experts speculate will be filled by Army Chief Gen. Naravane, who will be retiring on 30 April 2022.
His Indian Navy and IAF contemporaries, Admiral Hari Kumar and Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, are on average two years junior to him, making Gen. Naravane the most likely contender based on seniority.