General Bipin Rawat: All you need to know about the retired Indian Army Chief
Let us tell you more about India’s first Chief of Defence Staff
General Bipin Rawat was to retire from services after completing his full three-year term as the Chief of Army Staff and just a day before that on 30 December 2019, he was named as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff. For the unversed, a few days before the government announced his decision to do so, General Bipin Rawat was marred by controversy as well because of his comments on the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and he criticised the people leading violent protests.
Now, he is serving as the CDS for a period of up to three years after the age of retirement has been extended till 65 years. The Cabinet Committee on Security was the one to create the post of CDS as the principal military adviser to the defence minister. General Bipin Rawat is supposed to guide him in all matters relating to tri-services.
Not many know that the recommendation for the CDS was first made after the Kargil War for better coordination between the three services — the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
Who is he?
Prior to serving as the Army chief, he was the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) from September 1, 2016 till December 31, 2016. He was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleven Gorkha Rifles in December 1978 after he graduated from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. After being awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ in the Academy, he also headed the army’s Southern Command and has high experience in warfare and counter-insurgency operations.
Not just that, he has also commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control, an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley, and a Rashtriya Rifles sector among others. He has also held major appointments in his alma mater Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and at Army War College, Mhow.
General Bipin Rawat is also an alumni of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and during his stint of 38 years, he has been awarded for both gallantry and distinguished service.
Role as the Chief of Defence Staff
General Rawat, as the CDS, is known to facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources and he is the single-point military advisor to the government.
On the other hand, the three service chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister on matters regarding their concerned respective forces. However, General Bipin Rawat still holds the authority to direct the tri-service chiefs.