USI chair of excellence dedicated to General Rawat

Updated on Mar 16, 2022 02:03 AM IST

Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is officiating as chairman, chiefs of staff committee (COSC), made the announcement at a ceremony organised at South Block. It was attended by the vice chiefs of the three services and other senior officers.

General Bipin Rawat. (PTI)
General Bipin Rawat. (PTI)
By, New Delhi

On the eve of General Bipin Rawat’s birthday, the Indian Army on Tuesday dedicated a chair of excellence in the late chief of defence staff (CDS)’s memory at the United Service Institution of India (USI), the country’s oldest think tank founded in 1870, the army said in a statement.

Rawat, who was killed in a helicopter crash last December, would have turned 64 on Wednesday.

Also Read | Pilot’s disorientation in bad weather led to CDS Bipin Rawat chopper crash: IAF

Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is officiating as chairman, chiefs of staff committee (COSC), made the announcement at a ceremony organised at South Block. It was attended by the vice chiefs of the three services and other senior officers.

“General Bipin Rawat Memorial Chair of Excellence will focus on the field of jointness and integration. The Chair is a befitting tribute to the astute leadership and professionalism of the general,” the statement said, adding that CDS was steering one of the military’s most radical transformations.

A cheque of 5 lakh was given to USI director Major General BK Sharma (retd) to be paid as honorarium to the nominated Chair that will be open to veterans of the three services and civilians having expertise in the field of national security.

The aim of the Chair will be to conduct research on strategic issues pertaining to the armed forces, officials said. The topic for this year’s research will be Jointness and Integration in the Context of Land Warfare in India, the officials said.

Rawat was spearheading the military’s theaterisation drive to enhance the effectiveness of the armed forces and reshape the conduct of future operations. Rawat took over as CDS on December 31, 2019, after serving as army chief for a full three-year term. He held the four-star rank for almost five years, making him the longest-serving four-star general in India.

As CDS, Rawat wore multiple hats. He was the permanent chairman of COSC, headed the department of military affairs, and was the single-point military adviser to the defence minister. The government is yet to appoint his successor. His demise was seen as a setback to the ongoing military reforms.

The current theaterisation model seeks to set up four integrated commands -- two land-centric theatres, an air defence command and a maritime theatre command. In November 2021, Rawat asked the three services to expedite their ongoing studies on the creation of theatre commands and submit comprehensive reports within six months. The deadline for submitting the reports was advanced from September 2022 to April 2022.

The armed forces currently have 17 single-service commands spread across the country. The army and air force have seven commands each, while the Indian navy has three.

Rawat will be posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour, at an investiture ceremony to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on March 21.

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