The Government of India is mulling over the appointment of a new CDS in the coming days amid the sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in a military helicopter crash.
According to top sources, the Chief of Defence Staff post will be filled in the coming seven days. Any flag or commanding officers of the armed forces are eligible for the position of the CDS as per the rules.
A leap into the life of CDS Rawat
While the upper age limit for the chief of the defence staff has been locked at 65 years back in 2020 General Rawat had taken over the charge as the first Chief of Defence Staff of India and it was announced by the Prime Minister of India in 2019 that CDS would be appointed whose position would be chaired above the three Chiefs.
Bipin Rawat was born in a family who had been serving the Indian Army for multiple generations and I was born in the Pauri district in the Northern state of Uttarakhand. Bipin Rawat’s father Lakshman Singh Rawat had served the Indian Army as the Lieutenant General.
The CDS was the alumnus of the National Defence Academy Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy Dehradun where he was also awarded the Sword of Honour.
In the same unit as his father, Rawat was commissioned into the Indian army in the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1978 while he had taken over the reins of the Indian Army from General Dalbir Singh Suhag back in 2016 as the 27th chief of Army Staff (COAS).
A warrior with a service of four decades
Apart from serving in some of the most difficult trains of India which include the northern and Eastern commands general Bipin Rawat was also a veteran of the counter-insurgency warfare while during his four decades in service he served as the General Officer Commanding In Chief Southern Command, General Staff Officer Grade 2 at the Military Operations Directorate, Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary’s Branch, Colonel Military Secretary, Senior Instructor in the Junior Commanding Wing and also as a Brigade Commander.
Along with this, the CDS has also commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo along with being a part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.
Talking about one of the highlights of his career, the 2015 cross-border operation into Myanmar cannot be put aside in which the Indian Army successfully responded to an ambush by NSCN-K militants and he was also instrumental in reducing the militancy in the Northeast.
Beyond the ordinary
The CDS had survived a single-engine helicopter crash, minutes after it took off from Nagaland back in 2015.
In places such as Russia, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal and the United States, General Rawat has been a part of many international bilateral visits.
Readers should also note that General Rawat was also an Honorary General in the Nepalese Army.
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal are the ones that decorated General Rawat during his service.
On Thursday, the mortal remains of General Rawat shall be brought from Tamil Nadu to New Delhi and the cremation shall take place in the Capital.
In a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu, the CDS lost his life while on the other hand, a Court of Inquiry has been ordered into the accident.