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General Bipin Rawat retires as Army chief, takes over as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff

Rawat, in his farewell speech, wished a successful inning to General Manoj Naravane who will be assuming the office as the 28th Army chief.

SNS | New Delhi |

Outgoing Army chief General Bipin Rawat, who is set to be the first Chief of Defence Staff of the country, on Tuesday said that he will “sit and plan a strategy for future” after taking over the new position.

“The position Chief of Army Staff has many responsibilities. Till now, I was concentrating on my obligations as Chief of Army Staff. Now that I will have a new designation, I will sit and plan a strategy for the future. I will fulfil my role as Chief of Army Staff till the handover,” Rawat told reporters.

Rawat earlier in the day paid tributes at the National War Memorial in Delhi.

General Rawat will take over as the Chief of Defence Staff today, the same day he retires as the Army Chief.

At a ceremony, Rawat received his farewell Guard of Honour as the Army Chief at South Block.

As he demitted the office of Chief of Army Staff, Rawat conveyed his gratitude to the soldiers, rank and file of Indian Army who have stood steadfast under challenging circumstances.

He also wished a successful inning to General Manoj Naravane who will be assuming the office as the 28th Army chief.

On being asked whether the Indian Army is prepared to take on the challenges at the Pakistan and China border, he said, “Yes, they are better prepared”.

On Monday late night, the Central government announced that General Rawat has been appointed as CDS.

General Rawat – who served a rare full three-year term as the Indian Army Chief after he superseded two officers in 2016 – will serve as CDS till March 31, 2023.

Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978 and was serving as Chief of Army Staff since January 1, 2017.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Defence amended Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force rules. As per the amended rules, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) or tri-service chief will be able to serve till the age of 65. As per existing government rules, the three service chiefs can serve up to the age of 62 or for three years, whichever is earlier.

Union Cabinet on December 24 approved the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post and its charter and duties. The CDS will be a 4-star general who will head the new Department of Military Affairs.