India, army chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane

India’s next army chief Gen. Mukund is a China expert: report

The Indian government on Monday approved the appointment of Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane as the next chief of army staff (COAS).

Lt Gen Naravane, who is currently the vice chief of Indian Army, will take over as India’s 28th army chief from incumbent General Bipin Rawat whose term ends on December 31, said a report.

Army officials told The Hindu that Lt Gen Naravane is the senior most officer and the government had gone with the “seniority principle” in the appointment. The incoming Indian army chief’s tenure will last till April 2022 till his superannuation.

Lt Gen Naravane is from India’s Sikh Light Infantry and has also commanded a Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). According to the reports, the battalion is Indian army’s “elite counter insurgency unit” and mostly operates in IoK. The general has also served as the New Delhi’s defence attache to Myanmar.

The new chief is also considered an expert on China affairs and was heading Eastern Command which is responsible for guarding India’s border with China.

The next big appointment to be made by the Indian government is of its first chief of defence staff (CDS). The Hindu claimed that the incumbent army chief General Rawat is the front runner for the post.

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