Mon, 04 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 28 (ANI): France Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain on Wednesday congratulated Lt General Anil Chauhan (retired) on his appointment as India's new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Taking to Twitter, the Ambassador noted the India-France relationship, stating that both the countries have built outstanding defence cooperation.

"My heartfelt congratulations to Lt Gen Anil Chauhan on his appointment as India's next Chief of Defence Staff. France and India have built an outstanding defence cooperation and we look forward to working with CDS Chauhan to take on even more ambitious goals together," Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.

Lt General Anil Chauhan retired as the Eastern Army Commander in May last year and served as the Military Advisor to the National Security Council.

Earlier today, Australia's envoy to India Barry O'Farrell wished Anil Chauhan for the appointment as CDS and expressed to work to advance a strong defence relationship between the two nations.

In a tweet, Australia's envoy to India wrote, "Congratulations Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) on your appointment as India's Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). looks forward to working closely with you to continue advancing our strong defence relationship."This is the first time that a retired officer has been appointed at this position for which a gazette notification was issued to announce the change in rules for the appointment.

In a career spanning over nearly 40 years, Lt Gen Chauhan has held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast India.

He will also function as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders, an official release said.

Lt General Anil Chauhan (retired) will be the second CDS of the country after Gen Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash in December last year in Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, the officer had also served as a United Nations mission to Angola. He superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021. Even after his retirement from the Army, he continued to contribute to national security and strategic matters.

For his distinguished and illustrious service in the Army, Lt General Anil Chauhan (retired) was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal.

The CDS is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals -- the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

The post was lying vacant since December 8 last year after the death of General Bipin Rawat.

When General Bipin Rawat was appointed CDS by the Narendra Modi government within six months of coming back to power in 2019, it was hailed as one of the biggest reforms in the higher military structure of the country.

The CDS is also the single point of contact for the government for giving military advice and is the senior-most bureaucrat in the defence ministry which has four major departments.

The appointment comes amid efforts by the government to give a big push to indigenisation in the equipment for defence forces. (ANI)

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