Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi to take charge as 30th Indian Army Chief

During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff, Instructional and Foreign appointments.
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi will be the next Chief of the Army Staff succeeding incumbent Gen Manoj Pande
Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi will be the next Chief of the Army Staff succeeding incumbent Gen Manoj PandePhoto | ANI X (Twitter)

NEW DELHI: The ambiguity on the next in line for succession to take over the Chief of Army Staff got cleared on Monday as the Government, in a late evening communiqué said that “Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, PVSM, AVSM, presently serving as Vice Chief of the Army Staff,” will be the next Chief of the Army Staff with effect from the afternoon of June 30, 2024.

The present Chief of the Army Staff General (Gen) Manoj C Pande, demits office on the same day.

Born on July 01, 1964, Lieutenant (Lt) Gen Upendra Dwivedi was commissioned into the Infantry (Jammu & Kashmir Rifles) of the Indian Army on December 15, 1984. During his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 40 years, he has served in a variety of Command, Staff, Instructional and Foreign appointments. The Command appointments of Lt Gen Dwivedi include Command of Regiment (18 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles), Brigade (26 Sector Assam Rifles), Inspector General, Assam Rifles (East) and 9 Corps.

In the rank of Lt Gen, the officer has tenanted important appointments including that of Director General Infantry and General Officer Commanding in Chief (Headquarter Northern Command) from 2022-2024, before getting appointed as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

An alumnus of the Sainik School Rewa, National Defence College and US Army War College, Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi has also undergone courses at the DSSC Wellington and Army War College, Mhow. In addition, the officer was conferred 'Distinguished Fellow' in the coveted NDC equivalent course at USAWC, Carlisle, USA. The officer has an M Phil in Defence & Management Studies and two Master's Degrees in Strategic Studies and Military Science.

Gen Dwivedi has been decorated with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) and three GOC-in-C Commendation Cards.

An Unusual extension in service to the current Chief General Manoj Pande was granted for a one-month with the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, on May 26, 2024, approving the extension "beyond his normal age of superannuation (May 31, 2024), i.e. up to June 30, 2024, under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules 1954."

The successor of Gen Pande, at that time was not announced, which in a normal practice is named a few weeks ahead of the appointment of the next Chief of Service.

There is only once in the history of Indian Army when in 1975 the then Army Chief Gen G.G. Bewoor was given a one year extension by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi-led Government. Due to the extension the next in line as per seniority Lt Gen Prem Bhagat retired from service.

Gen Bewoor served as Chief from January 16, 1973, to May 31, 1975 and was succeeded by Gen T. N. The Armed Forces have mostly followed the seniority principle: the senior-most Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) is made the COAS from the list of the three Lt Gens forwarded to the government by the Service.

It is the prerogative of the government to select and appoint the Army Chief and other services heads.

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