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Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (Retd) Is India's New CDS: Here Are The Key Tasks He Will Combat on A War Footing

By: Amrita Nayak Dutta

Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta

News18.com

Last Updated: September 29, 2022, 23:22 IST

New Delhi, India

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (retd) becomes India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), nearly 10 months after the country’s first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, was killed in a helicopter crash. Pic/News18

Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (retd) becomes India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), nearly 10 months after the country’s first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, was killed in a helicopter crash. Pic/News18

As the CDS, he will drive theaterisation of Armed Forces, prioritise military procurements, and oversee manpower optimisation. The decorated Army officer will also be the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) Secretary, ending all speculation of a split between the posts of the CDS and the secretary DMA

The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday appointed Lt Gen Anil Chauhan (retd) as India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), nearly 10 months after the country’s first CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat, was killed in a helicopter crash.

The decorated Army officer will also be the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) Secretary, ending all speculation of a split between the posts of the CDS and the secretary DMA.

Lt Gen Chauhan, 61, took over as the military adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat from Lt Gen VG Khandare (retd) post his retirement from the Army as the Eastern Army Commander. He was among the frontrunners for the post, thanks to a distinguished career of over 40 years, during which he held several command, staff and instrumental appointments, and had extensive experience in counterinsurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast.

Earlier this month, he attended the renaming ceremony of the Kibithu military station as Gen Bipin Rawat Military Garrison, along with General Rawat’s daughter Tarini Rawat and other dignitaries. He is from the same unit as Gen Rawat.

Military career

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Lt. Gen. Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Army in 1981.

The senior Army officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramulla sector in the Northern Command and later a corps in the Northeast.

He had also served as the Director General of Military Operations and been part of the United Nations mission to Angola.

He was appointed the Eastern Army Commander in September 2019, from where he retired from the service on May 31, 2021.

Not many know that as a Brigadier, he was the first serving officer who handled the Directorate of Indian Army Veterans (DIAV)— which is responsible for looking after Army veterans’ welfare.

Army officers who worked with him know him as a fairly reserved person, a thorough professional, and a “quiet doer”.

“He has always kept himself away from the limelight and has been a quiet worker, despite several high-visibility appointments which he held,” an officer who worked with him in the Eastern Command told News18.

Tasks in hand

The new CDS will be responsible for completing the theaterisation process of the Army, Navy, and the Indian Air Force, a task his predecessor Gen. Rawat was actively driving.

Multiple studies on the theatre commands were underway in the last few months and at least two tabletop exercises have been carried out on the theaterisation process. As per the plans, the theatre commanders will be reporting to the CDS.

He will also be responsible for bringing about greater synergy and jointness between the three services, prioritisation of important military procurements which includes assessment of long-term integrated capability development plans of the services.

As the secretary, DMA, he will also drive plans to optimise manpower in the Armed Forces and oversee the implementation of the Agnipath scheme. The DMA is currently conducting a study on manpower optimisation.

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first published:September 28, 2022, 20:37 IST
last updated:September 29, 2022, 23:22 IST
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