Tuesday, October 2, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Lt-Gen Joshi takes over as CIDS
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 1
There was a major shake-up in the top Army brass today with Lt-Gen Pankaj Joshi taking over as the country’s first-ever Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CIDS) and Lt-Gen N.C. Vij as the new Vice-Chief of Army Staff.

General Joshi, who was till recently the Central Army Commander, took over after laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and became the first Lt-General to inspect a Tri-service guard of honour at South Block before taking charge of his new assignment, signalling the government’s determination to move ahead with a rapid integration of the three services.

General Joshi will be of the rank of Vice-Chief of Defence Staff and will work under the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, a post presently held by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sushil Kumar.

The government is now also expected to appoint four Vice-CIDS, including a senior Lt-General heading the newly constituted Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has already prepared the proposal for creating of the post of the Chief of DIA and the Union Cabinet is expected to clear it in the coming few days.

The post would be formally created only after the Union Cabinet gives its clearance. The three other Vice-CIDS would look after Joint Medical Command, Joint Planning and Joint Training Command.

A recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and Ati Vishist Seva Medal, General Joshi was commissioned into the 8th Gorkha Rifles and saw action in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan conflict. He was severely wounded in the Sino-Indian clashes in Sikkim in 1967 and was forced to walk on artificial limbs.

General Joshi has held important staff, instructional and command appointments, including commanding a mechanised brigade in the semi-desert area, command of the prestigious Armoured division and the country’s sole Desert corps.

He has held the charge of Additional Director-General Mechanised Forces and the Commandant, College of Combat, Mhow.

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