Maj Gen Datta: Most decorated army officer
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Maj Gen Datta: Most decorated army officer

GEN VK Datta, AVSM, PPMG, SM**, VSM**, Chief of Staff, Sudarshan Chakra Corps, is the most decorated officer in the Indian Army. Unassuming but pragmatic, Gen Datta was posted to Headquarters 21 Corps in May 2006.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 16:45 IST

GEN VK Datta, AVSM, PPMG, SM**, VSM**, Chief of Staff, Sudarshan Chakra Corps, is the most decorated officer in the Indian Army. Unassuming but pragmatic, Gen Datta was posted to Headquarters 21 Corps in May 2006.

He started his career in uniform when he was commissioned in the 2nd Battalion of 1st Gorkha Rifles in March 1970. He volunteered and served in the first Counter-Terrorist and Counter-Hijack unit of the country.

Gen Datta has operated intimately with the Intelligence Bureau and the Central Bureau of Investigation. Amidst the turbulent events of 1984, when the world’s attention was fixed on Indira Gandhi’s assassination, he took over the daunting task of Prime Minister’s security and put into place the present system of VVIP Security as part of the Special Protection Group (Commando Battalion).

He has commanded a Mountain Brigade in counter-insurgency operations under the Operation Rhino in Assam and an Infantry Division on the Line of Control in J&K in Op Rakshak.

One of Gen Datta’s major accomplishments is the designing and introduction of the bullet-proof Patka for Army and para-military forces. He also designed and conceptualised the bullet-proof jacket (Kavach) which is now being produced by DRDO. The credit of designing Arms Laser Designator goes to him too. He was involved in the raising of the Special Protection Group and the National Security Guard. A black belt in Karate, he introduced this art in the army.

He is a micro-light and para-motor pilot as well as a para-trooper and a sky diver. He has done a counter-terrorism, counter-hijack and bomb disposal course in Israel. His subordinates remember him as a military leader who never sought credit for him, but always gave it to the team, and that is why they are always geared up to give him their best.

A living legend of the Indian Army, he has been awarded Ati Vishisht Sena Medal (AVSM) for Operation Rakshak in the Line of Control, and Sena Medal (gallantry) SM for Special Operations behind enemy lines. His contributions in Operation Blue Star at Golden Temple earned him Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry). He received Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), for Operation Black Thunder counter-terrorist operation in Punjab and was awarded Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal, for counter-insurgency operations (Op Rhino). He is the only army officer to be awarded President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) and counter-terrorist operations in Punjab. He also received Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Card for Operation Rakshak. He has visited countries like the USA, the UK, France, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia, Romania and Sri Lanka for training and affiliated visits.

NCC Raipur CG wins CM’s banner
THE NATIONAL Cadet Corps (NCC) Group Headquarters, Raipur, has won the coveted Chief Minister’s Banner-2007 along with the Championship Trophy. Inter-group competitions were held for the CM’s banner in 14 categories with the Raipur group winning the maximum. The ‘Champion Group’ imparts training to 17,468 students of the state and 59 colleges and 138 schools. In a ceremony organised by the NCC Directorate Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at Ravindra Bhawan, Chief Minster Shivraj Singh Chauhan facilitated the winners. He congratulated Brig Deepak Sud, Dy DG NCC of MP and CG and his staff for the achievement. A tableau representing various facets of MP and CG had the audience spellbound, especially the Chief Minister. This was the last of its kind directed by late Vibha Mishra, the noted theatre personality. The function ended with the NCC song sung by the cadets.

Did you know?
HYDER ALI was the first Indian ruler to have used rockets. Instructed by French military officers, he used iron rockets to defeat a top British unit.

After the country gained independence in 1947, Indian scientists and politicians recognised the potential of rocket technology in defence applications, and for research and development. These visionaries set about establishing a space research organisation and recognising the early potential of satellites in the fields of remote sensing and communication.
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First Published: Feb 05, 2007 16:45 IST