Vice Admiral Karambir Singh Appointed As The Next Indian Navy Chief
Defence Ministry, on previous Saturday, announced the appointment of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh as the next Navy Chief. Current Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba retires on May 31 and Singh will succeed him. Vice Admiral Singh is currently serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief at Visakhapatnam-based Eastern Naval Command. He supersedes Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN), who is the seniormost officer after Admiral Lanba.
This is the second time that the ruling BJP government has refrained from going by the seniority principle. In 2016, the government appointed General Bipin Rawat as the Army Chief, overlooking the seniority of Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, the then Eastern Army Commander. Service Chiefs are normally appointed two months in advance and the ongoing model code means the EC has to be kept in the loop for the appointment. Admiral RK Dhowan was appointed Navy Chief after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were announced. He had also superseded his senior, Vice Admiral Sekhar Sinha.
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About Vice Admiral Karambir Singh
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Singh was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980. Born to an IAF officer in Jalandhar, Punjab, Admiral Singh is a second generation military officer. He attended the Barnes School in Deolali, before joining the 56th course of the National Defence Academy, where he was in the Hunter Squadron. He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai. In both the institutions, he served as Directing Staff.
According to his profile on the Indian Navy's website, Singh earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982 and has flown extensively on the Chetak and Kamov helicopters. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980 and earned his wings as a helicopter pilot in 1982. He has extensive experience with the HAL Chetak, Kamov Ka-25, and Kamov Ka-28 helicopters.
The Admiral has commanded the Coast Guard ship ICGS Chand Bibi, the corvette INS Vijaydurg, and the guided missile destroyers INS Rana and INS Delhi. He also served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. Ashore, he served at Naval Headquarters as the Joint Director Naval Air Staff, and as Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai. He was also a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Board (AIRCATS).
Previous Promotions And Posts Of Vice Admiral Karambir Singh
On promotion to flag rank, he was appointed as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command. His other important flag appointments include Chief of Staff of the Tri-Services Unified Command at Andaman & Nicobar Islands and as the Flag Officer Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area (FOMAG).
In the rank of Vice Admiral, he has been the Director-General Project Seabird, in-charge of infrastructure development of the Navy’s expansive and modern base at Karwar, followed by a tenure as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff. The Admiral has been commended by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief and is a recipient of the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) awarded by the Hon’ble President of India.Chief of Naval Staff.
Interesting Facts About India’s New Navy Chief Karambir Singh
- His father, a retired Wing Commander of the IAF, died last year and the family has long resided in New Delhi.
- Vice Admiral Karambir Singh Nijjer hails from a Jat Sikh family that has roots in Khurdpur village near the Adampur air base in Jalandhar. When he takes over on May 31, it will be history in making for the Sikh community and a matter of pride. As for the first time, two Sikhs will be simultaneously heading the forces. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa is also from the Jat Sikh community.
- Singh is a recipient of the prestigious Param Vishist Seva Medal (PVSM) awarded by the Hon’ble President of India.
- The new navy chief has also received Ati Vishist Seva Medal (AVSM), Operation Vijay Medal, Operation Parakram Medal, Sainya Seva Medal, and some other prestigious awards.
- Vice Admiral Karambir Singh’s hobbies include cycling, running and swimming.
- He will be the first helicopter pilot to help the Indian Navy.
About Current Indian Navy Chief, Sunil Lanba
Sunil Lanba is the current and the 23rd Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. He assumed the office on 31 May 2016 after Admiral Robin K. Dhowan and will hold office till May 2019. He is also the Chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (CoSC). Lanba was born on 17 July 1957 and hails from Palwal district, Haryana. He attended Mayo College, Ajmer; National Defense Academy, Pune; Defense Services Staff College, Wellington; College of Defence Management, Secunderabad and Royal College of Defense Studies, London, and is a post-graduate in Defense and Management studies.
He, over four decades, has served as a navigation officer on board INS Sindhudurg and INS Dunagiri before serving as the commanding officer (CO) of various ships: minesweeper INS Kakinada, frigate INS Himgiri, INS Ranvijay, and INS Mumbai. Sunil Lanba also served as executive officer of aircraft carrier INS Viraat. And also the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. He has also held numerous training positions like training officer at the National Defence Academy; Directing Staff at the College of Defence Management; Commandant of the National Defence College and Flag Officer Sea Training organization at the Local Workup Team (West), Western Naval Command.
Chief Of The Indian Naval Staff
The Chief of the Naval Staff is the commander and the highest-ranking officer in the Indian Navy. The position is abbreviated CNS in Indian Navy cables and communication. It is usually held by a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral. The office of the Chief of the Naval Staff was created by The Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act of the Indian Parliament in 1955, replacing the erstwhile office of the Commander-in-Chief, Indian Navy.
The office is based at South Block in Raisina Hill. Appointments to the office are made by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). The Chief of the Naval Staff generally reaches superannuation upon serving three years or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
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