Monday, December 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Gen Vij takes over tomorrow
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 29
Lt-Gen Nirmal Chander Vij will take over as the Chief of Army Staff on the retirement of Gen S Padmanabhan on Tuesday.

Lt-Gen Shantonu Choudhary, presently the General Officer Commanding (GOC)-in-Chief of the Army Training Command, will be the new Vice-Chief of the Army Staff.

A Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) meeting will be held here tomorrow to bid farewell to General Padmanabhan, who is also the Chairman of the COSC. The Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Madhvendra Singh will take over as the Chairman of the COSC.

Official Army sources said General Padmanabhan, who would retire on Tuesday after 42 years of distinguished service, will lay a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti and attend a guard of honour before leaving for Chennai.

Lt-General Vij, who takes over from General Padmanabhan, will formally assume the charge on January 1. He will be the Army chief for two years and one month.

Born in January 1943 at Jammu, Lt-General Vij joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1959 and was commissioned into the Dogra Regiment on December 11, 1962. During his long and distinguished career spanning 40 years, he has worked in a variety of command, staff and instructional position.

He has the distinction of commanding two Corps - one being a strike corps and the other dealing in counter-insurgency operations. He was also the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) during the Kargil conflict.

In another top level appointment in the army, Lt-Gen S.S. Chahal, presently the DGMO, will take over as Chief of the National Defence College, New Delhi.

Lt-Gen B.S. Takhar, presently GOC of 10 Corps, will take over as the DGMO. Lt-Gen J.J. Singh will take over as GOC of the Army Training Command. Lt-Gen V.K. Dhir will be the Director General of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers.

Lt-Gen T.S. Pathak takes over as the head of the 1 Corps.

Lt-Gen Rajinder Singh will be the head of the 3 Corps.

Meanwhile, Vice-Admiral Arun Prakash, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of India’s first-ever tri-service command on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has been named as the new Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command at Mumbai, official sources said.

Vice-Admiral Arun Prakash will take over on January 1, on retirement of Vice-Admiral Vinod Pasricha.

Vice-Admiral S.S. Bhangara, at present Deputy Chief of Integrated Staff, has been appointed the new commandant of National Defence Academy, Kharagvasla.


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