Seniority was kept in mind, know why the rule was not changed in the appointment of the new Army Chief?

Ananya Shroff
3 Min Read
Seniority was kept in mind, know why the rule was not changed in the appointment of the new Army Chief?


New Delhi: A few days ago, when Army Chief General Manoj Pandey got a one-month extension six days before his retirement, this decision gave rise to many speculations. The decision of extension just before the election results was being seen in many ways. The reason was also clear because this was the first extension given to an Army Chief by the government in many decades. Amid the delay in the announcement of the new Army Chief, a big decision was taken by the government. Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi will take over as the next Army Chief on June 30, the government announced this late on Tuesday night. With this, all the speculations that someone's seniority could be increased for this post were dismissed.

The government kept seniority in mind, a big challenge in front of General Dwivedi

The government has appointed Lt Gen Dwivedi as the 30th Army Chief on the basis of the principle of seniority. Upendra Dwivedi was commissioned into the 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in December 1984 and is currently the deputy chief. He will take over the reins of the 1.2 million-strong force at a time when India is embroiled in a tense military confrontation with China along the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. The confrontation is in its fifth year, while Pakistan's efforts to actively aid and abet cross-border terrorism have not abated.

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These questions were raised when Manoj Pandey got an extension
When Army Chief Gen Manoj Pandey was given an extension, questions arose whether the extension by the Prime Minister-led Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) would complicate matters further. The reason was that the next most senior army officer, vice chief Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi and his successor Southern Command chief Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh were both due to retire on June 30. The Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs can serve till the age of 62 or three years, whichever is earlier. Lieutenant General rank officers retire at the age of 60 if they are not approved for a four-star rank.

Who is Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi? Now he will take command of the army
Modi government ignored this rule twice
There were two such occasions in the first and second term of the Modi government when the government ignored the rule of seniority. For the first time in December 2016, Bipin Rawat was made the Army Chief by ignoring Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi and PM Hariz. For the second time in May 2019, Admiral Karambir Singh was made the Navy Chief. During this time, Bimal Verma, who was the head of the Andaman Nicobar Command at that time, was ignored. However, the government did not take any such decision this time.

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