Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, the vice chief of the Indian Army, will be the next Army chief, succeeding General Dalbir Singh Suhag, the government announced on Saturday. Lt General Rawat belongs to the famous 5th Battalion of 11th Gorkha Rifles.
The announcement has put an end to speculations borne out of government’s delay in announcing the name for the Army’s top job. It has been a convention that the new Army chief is announced 60 days before the incumbent retires.
Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, who was leading the race, missed out on the top job. This is the first time that two generals (Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Lt-Gen Hariz) in the army have been surpassed. Speculations are rife that the government may appoint Lt Gen Bakshi as India’s first tri-service chief.
Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a Kargil war veteran, has been appointed the next Air Force chief. He will succeed incumbent Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha who relinquishes the office on 31 December.
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