Known as the ‘China expert’, Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan (retd), the military adviser to the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and a former Eastern Army Commander, will be India’s next chief of defence staff (CDS), the government announced on Wednesday.
Born on 18th May 1961, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
He was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981.
In the rank of Maj General, the officer had commanded an Infantry Division in the critical Baramula sector in the Northern Command.
Later as Lt General, he commanded a corps in the North East and subsequently went to become the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command from September 2019 and held the charge until his retirement from the service in May 2021.
In addition to these command appointments, the officer also tenanted important staff appointments including the charge of Director General of Military Operations.
Earlier, the officer had also served as a United Nations mission to Angola. The officer superannuated from the Indian Army on 31 May 2021.
Lt Gen Chauhan will also function as Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date he takes charge.
The post had been vacant since December 8 last year after the death of General Bipin Rawat at age 63.
General Rawat, who had been India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, and his wife were killed after a military chopper crashed in Tamil Nadu, killing 13 on board. The only survivor, an Air Force Group Captain, died of severe burns later.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hand-picked General Rawat, a decorated general, as CDS in late 2019 with a mission to reorganise India’s army, air force and navy into a single, modern force with U.S.-style joint theatre commands. He took charge in January 2020.