Key appointments in army soon: Officials
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, seen by many as the frontrunner for the CDS’s post, is due to retire on April 30.
Some top-level appointments are expected in the Indian Army by the end of January to fill vacancies created by the upcoming retirement of the vice chief and the Northern Army commander, even as the Centre is yet to decide on the appointment the next chief of defence staff (CDS) following the passing of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash last December, officials familiar with the development said on Tuesday.
While the current Eastern Army commander Lieutenant General Manoj Pande is set to take over as the next vice chief after Lieutenant General CP Mohanty retires on January 31, Pande is expected to be succeeded by Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita at the Kolkata-based Eastern Command, one of the officials said, requesting anonymity. Kalita is currently serving as a deputy chief in the Army Headquarters.
Another position falling vacant on January 31 is that of the Northern Army commander as Lieutenant General YK Joshi is retiring that day. Joshi is expected to be replaced by Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi, said a second official. Dwivedi is also serving as a deputy chief in the army headquarters.
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, seen by many as the frontrunner for the CDS’s post, is due to retire on April 30. Pande will be the top contender for the army chief’s post.
Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar are both around two years junior to him. There is a strong possibility of Naravane being named as the next CDS if the government follows the seniority principle, as previously reported.