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Who was Bipin Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff

Who was Bipin Rawat, India's first Chief of Defence Staff

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the India Military Academy (IMA), General Rawat was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1978, in the Fifth Battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles.

As the CDS, General Bipin Rawat was a one-point advisor to the government on matters pertaining to the military and functioned with the key objective of integrating the three services - Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF) As the CDS, General Bipin Rawat was a one-point advisor to the government on matters pertaining to the military and functioned with the key objective of integrating the three services - Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF)

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and 13 others died in an IAF chopper crash in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor on Wednesday. The ill-fated military chopper crashed at Coonoor in Nilgiris district in the state.

"An IAF Mi-17V5 helicopter, with CDS Gen Bipin Rawat on board, met with an accident today near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. An Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," IAF had said in a statement earlier in the day. 

CDS Rawat was on his way to Defence Staff College in Wellington from the IAF base in Sulur near Coimbatore when the accident took place. Besides him, his wife Madhulika Rawat, defence assistant, security commandos and an IAF pilot were on board the chopper when it crashed.

Also Read: IAF chopper with CDS Bipin Rawat on board crashes in TN; 13 dead, reports ANI
 
An outstanding career
 

CDS General Bipin Rawat was appointed the first tri-service chief with effect from December 31, 2019, after the government announced the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post. The formation of the CDS post was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 during his Independence Day speech. 
 
His tenure as the Army Chief drew to a close in December 2019, thereby becoming the first sitting Chief of Army Staff to be designated to the top post.  
 
As the CDS, he was a one-point advisor to the government on matters pertaining to the military and functioned with the key objective of integrating the three services - Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force (IAF). Rawat took charge of the Indian Army from General Dalbir Singh Suhar on December 17, 2016, as the 27th Chief of Army Staff (COAS). 

Also Read: IAF helicopter crash: Netizens pray for CDS General Rawat's well-being
 

Here's a look at CDS General Bipin Rawat's stellar career:

  • General Rawat was an alumnus of St. Edward School, Shimla. He completed his M.Phil in Defence Studies from Madras University, and held two Diplomas, in Management and Computer Studies. 
  • He also completed his research on 'Military-Media Strategic Studies' and was awarded Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) from Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut. 
  • An alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the India Military Academy (IMA), General Rawat was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1978, in the Fifth Battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles. 
  • He was a veteran of counterinsurgency warfare and served in some of the most arduous territories of India, comprising the northern and eastern commands. 
  • In a career spanning over four decades, General Rawat had a distinguished military profile with vast operational as well as staff exposure. He was also part of the UN Peacekeeping Force and had commanded a multinational brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
  • General Rawat commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles sector; an infantry division in Kashmir; and a Corps in the North East.  
  • Rawat was the fourth officer from the Gorkha Brigade to become the COAS. He played an important role in reducing militancy in the North East. 
  • The key highlight of General Rawat's career was the 2015 cross-border operation in Myanmar in which the Indian Army successfully foiled an ambush attempt by NSCN-K militants. 
     
  • He was also part of the planning for the 2016 surgical strikes, conducted by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). 
  • During his tenure, General Rawat was decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Yudh Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal, and Sena Medal.