Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi is next Army Chief

Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi will be the next Chief of the Army Staff succeeding incumbent Gen Manoj Pande, the government announced on Tuesday night, ending speculations on the key appointment.

Lt Gen Dwivedi, who has vast operational experience along the frontiers with China and Pakistan, is presently serving as Vice Chief of the Army Staff. Gen Pande will retire on June 30.

In appointing Lt Gen Dwivedi, the government followed the seniority principle.

“The government has appointed Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, presently serving as Vice Chief of the Army Staff, as the next Chief of the Army Staff with effect from the afternoon of June 30,” the defence ministry said.

In a rare move, the government last month extended Gen Pande’s tenure by one month, six days before his superannuation on May 31.

The move triggered speculations that Lt Gen Dwivedi may be overlooked for the top post.

The senior-most official after Lt Gen Dwivedi is Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh, the Southern Army Commander. Both Lt Gen Dwivedi and Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh were slated to retire on June 30.

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