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Indian Army announces chair of excellence at USI in memory of Gen Rawat


NEW DELHI (PTI):  Army Chief Gen MM Naravane has announced setting up of a 'Chair of Excellence' in memory of India's first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat at the United Service Institution of India (USI), a leading military think tank.

The announcemen on Tuesday, made at a ceremony, came a day ahead of the 65th birthday of Gen Rawat who was killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8 along with his wife Madhulika and 12 armed forces personnel.

The 'Gen Bipin Rawat memorial Chair of Excellence' will focus on the field of jointness and integration among the armed forces.

"Late Gen Bipin Rawat who served as India's first CDS as well as the 27th Chief of Indian Army was an outstanding professional and was in the midst of steering one of the most radical transformations of the Indian military," the Army said.

"The Chair of Excellence is a befitting tribute to the astute leadership and professionalism of the General," it said in a statement.

In his remarks, the Army Chief said Gen Rawat was passionate about strategic thoughts and invested considerable time and energy in the activities of various think tanks.

"And, therefore, his 65th birthday provided an opportune moment to reinforce the services' bond with their intellectual institutions. The Chair will be open to veterans of three services and civilians having expertise in the field of national security," Gen Naravane said.

The Army Chief is also serving as the officiating Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).

The topic for this year's research has been chosen as "jointness and integration in the context of land warfare in India", officials said.

They said the 'Chair of Excellence' will be open to all veteran officers of the armed forces and civilians having expertise in the field of national security and military affairs.

The period of research would be from July 1 for a period of one year, every year.

On January 1, 2020, Gen Rawat had taken charge as India's first CDS with a mandate to bring in convergence in the functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force and bolster the country's overall military prowess.

A key mandate of the CDS was to facilitate the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of theatre commands.

As the CDS, Gen Rawat carried out the extensive groundwork to roll out tri-services reforms.

In his role as Chief of Army Chief between 2016 and 2019, he strongly backed a policy of hot pursuit in dealing with cross-border terrorism and militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

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