Lt General Pravin Bakshi, tipped to succeed General Dalbir Singh as Indian Army’s next chief, has been posted as the Eastern Army Commander. Bakshi will replace Lt General MMS Rai next month at the Fort William headquartered Command.
Rai moves to Delhi to take over as Vice Chief, with the current incumbent, Lt General Philip Campose, retiring at the end of the month.
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Barring unforeseen eventualities or a change in government policy, Bakshi is in line to take over from General Dalbir Singh in January 2017.
Coincidentally, the last three Army chiefs — Dalbir Singh, Bikram Singh and VK Singh — were also Eastern Army commanders and Bakshi could be following them from Fort William to South Block. An armoured corps officer, Bakshi commanded 9 Corps – which is deployed in the plains of Punjab and Jammu. He is currently the Chief of Staff, the de facto Number 2, at Indian Army’s Northern Command.
As head of the Eastern Command, Bakshi will be looking after India’s Eastern and North Eastern borders where three corps of the Army are deployed, both in a conventional and a counter-insurgency role.
Moreover, Army is raising many new units in the eastern theatre to strengthen its position on the China border.
Among other crucial appointments, Lt General PM Hariz will head the Army Training Command in Shimla. Lt General SK Dua, currently posted in Delhi, will take over as the Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps from Lt General Subroto Saha.