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Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi appointed as new Army chief

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New Delhi: Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi was appointed Tuesday as the new Army chief and will take over from General Manoj Pande.

The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that he has been appointed with “effect” from the afternoon of 30 June 2024, the day on which the extended tenure of the current chief will come to an end.  

Lt. Gen. Dwivedi, who is currently the Army vice-chief, was the natural contender for the top job since he was the senior most.

However, in a surprising move, the government had given a rare one-month extension to General Pande, giving rise to speculations that the government could have been looking at a wider pool.

Prior to taking over as the Army vice-chief in February, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi was General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command which looks after the borders with both Pakistan and China.

Known as someone who has constantly pushed for infusion of more technology into the Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi is an alumnus of Sainik School, Rewa (Madhya Pradesh) and was commissioned into 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles in 1984, a unit he later commanded. 

He has the distinction of exposure to both Northern and Western Theatres. In his career of 39 years, the senior officer has held multiple command appointments in challenging operational environments, spanning the length and breadth of the country. 

He commanded his unit in Kashmir Valley as well as in Rajasthan. He has been Sector Commander and Inspector General Assam Rifles in an intense counter terrorism environment in the North East. 

He also commanded the Rising Star Corps with an operational role along the western borders.  He later commanded the critical Northern Command from 2022 to 2024 and was in charge of the planning and execution of sustained operations along the northern and western borders, besides overseeing the  counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir. 

During this period, he was actively engaged in the ongoing negotiations with China in resolving the vexed border issue and this experience will come handy as the Army chief, sources in the defence establishment said.

He has also tenanted important staff appointments in Headquarters Armoured Brigade, Mountain Division, Strike Corps and Integrated HQ (Army).

As Director General, Infantry, he had steered and fast-tracked capital procurement of weapons for the three services. As Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information System & Coordination), he focussed on  automation and absorption of niche technologies in the Indian Army. 

Being a technology enthusiast, he worked towards enhancing the technical threshold of all ranks in Northern Command and pushed for ‘Critical and Emerging Technologies’ like Big Data Analytics, AI, Quantum and Blockchain-based solutions.

The general officer has held instructional appointments to include tenures at Infantry School and Army War College, Mhow. The general officer’s two overseas tenures include Somalia, as part of HQ UNOSOM II, and Seychelles as Military Advisor to the Government of Seychelles. He has an M Phil in Defence and Management Studies, in addition to the two Master’s Degrees in Strategic Studies and Military Science. 

(Edited by Tony Rai)


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