General Naravane favourite to permanently inherit CDS post after Rawattext_fields
The Central government is looking to fill the vacuum left in the post of Chief of Defense after the untimely passing of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash that took the lives of 13 people. General M M Naravane has partially-taken over responsibilities of the position even as speculation is rife that he may inherit it, as the next senior-most officer in the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday that the government was looking into appointing a successor for the CDS post but no clear timeline was laid out nor were any contenders announced.
The committee also includes IAF chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar both of whom are junior to Gen. Naravane and who are both due to retire in April next year. Naravane's elevation to temporary head is part of the old system where the position of the chairman of the committee was rotated among the services, depending on seniority.
If he is appointed CDS, he will get three additional years. While Lt General rank officers retire at the age of 60, General-rank officers or the service chiefs retire at 62. The age of retirement for the CDS is 65.
Under General Rawat, the three services had done studies on the possible architecture of the integrated theatre commands —three for land, and one each for air defence and maritime security. However, there are some differences among the forces on how the assets should be divided, and to whom the commander of these new integrated tri-services theatres should report to.
General Naravane is a decorated military man and a recipient of the the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (2019), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (2017), Sena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal (2013). On September 1 2019, he was appointed Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) when Lt Gen Devraj Anbu retired on 31 August, and became the senior-most serving general after General Bipin Rawat.