The hunt for India's new army chief is on-- here's a profile of the senior-most contender

The hunt for India's new army chief is on-- here's a profile of the senior-most contender

  • The government began the selection process for the next Chief of Army Staff, as General Bipin Rawat is set to superannuate in December 2019.
  • Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Mukund Naravane and Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Ranbir Singh are in the list of five senior officers under consideration.
  • Lt Gen Naravane will be the senior most officer in the Indian Army once General Rawat’s term ends.
The government has started the process to select the next Chief of Army Staff as General Bipin Rawat will retire superannuate in December this year. The government is considering five officers in the army for the job, as per reports

The Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mukund Naravane is the senior most officer in the race. He is considered top contender for the job as he was given charge of the Eastern Army, in September 2018.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Naravane was commissioned into the 7th battalion The Sikh Light Infantry in 1980.

Counter insurgency specialist

Well known as a counter insurgency specialist in the Army, Naravane, in his 37 years of service has served in many Command and Staff appointments, in Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast. He was also a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPFK) in Sri Lanka.

Naravane’s shift to the Eastern Army came at a crucial time when insurgents were reportedly regrouping in neighbouring Myanmar. He was given the charge probably because Naravane was the Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) in Nagaland --- which looks after the Indo-Myanmar border. He had also commanded the eastern brigade of the infantry.

Naravane commanding the Eastern Command became more significant because he commanded the Strikes Corps of the Indian Army and was the Indian Defence Attache in Myanmar.

He was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command prior to heading the Eastern Command.

The General has served as an instructor at the Army War College, Mhow. He was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 2019, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2017, and the Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015.

The General holds a Masters Degree in Defence Studies from Chennai University, an M.Phil in Defence and Management Studies from DAVV, Indore. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. from Punjabi University, Patiala.