Indian Army

Armed Forces to Have Key Appointments Soon: Officials

Some high-level appointments in the Indian Army are expected to be done by end of January to fill vacancies due to the impending retirement of the Vice Chief and of the Northern Army commander, although the Center has not not yet decided on the appointment of the next Defense Staff (CDS) following the sad demise of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash last December.

As the current commander of the Eastern Army, Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande is expected to take over as the next Vice chief after Lt. Gen. CP Mohanty retires on January 31, Pande is expected to be replaced by Lt. Gen. Rana Pratap Kalita at the Eastern Command in Calcutta, one of the officials stated, requesting anonymity.

Kalita is currently Deputy Chief at Army Headquarters.

Another post becoming vacant on January 31 is that of the Northern Army Commander while Lieutenant General YK Joshi will retire on that day. Joshi is expected to be replaced by Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, an official said. Dwivedi is also Deputy Chief at Army Headquarters.

The army chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, considered by many to be the leader for the CDS post, will retire on April 30. Pande will be the main contender for the post of army chief.

Indian Air Force Chief, Air Force Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar are both about two years junior than him. There is a strong possibility that Naravane will be appointed as the next CDS if the government follows the principle of seniority.

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