When the Centre chose vice-chief of army staff, lieutenant general Bipin Rawat, to succeed the outgoing Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, it overlooked the senior-most officer of the world’s third largest army, lieutenant general Praveen Bakshi. Here’s all you need to know about Bakshi and the possible reasons why he may have been superseded.
National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla alumni:
Bakshi is a graduate of the National Defence Academy, the premier training institute for all military officers. He was later commissioned into the Skinner’s Horse regiment.
Served two army commands
Lt General Bakshi has been at the helm of two major army commands, the Udhampur-based Northern Command and Kolkata-based Eastern Command.
Currently, he is the General Officer Commanding of the Eastern Command, which handles the anti-terror operations in the crucial North East states bordering China, Bhutan and Myanmar. Previously, he was the chief of staff of the Northern Command.
Experience in handling operations and commands:
While Rawat is an infantry officer, Bakshi is an armoured officer. He has commanded an armoured brigade in the Western sector, a division in the deserts of Rajasthan, and army corps in the plains of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, The Economic Times noted.
The Eastern Command chief has also been decorated with the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal.
May become first ever chief of defence staff
Media reports suggest that Lt General Bakshi might take over as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The proposed position was first mooted after the Kargil War. The CDS would be the one point contact for the defence minister and prime minister on matters of India’s defence security.
First Published On : Dec 20, 2016 17:21 IST