Newly appointed Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be taking charge of his ministerial appointment at South Block on Saturday afternoon.
This will be his second stint in the Cabinet Committee on Security, which he was part of as the Home Minister between 2014 and 2019.
Meanwhile, the government announced a three-month extension in post for defence secretary Sanjay Mitra whose two-year tenure was to end on Friday.
Mitra will now continue as the defence secretary till August 23 or until further orders.
South Block saw another major change on Friday when Admiral Karambir Singh took over as the 24th Navy Chief from outgoing chief, Admiral Sunil Lanba. Admiral Singh, who is the first helicopter pilot to become the Navy Chief, was the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, headquartered in Visakhapatnam.
In a statement, the Navy said that during his long and distinguished service spanning nearly 39 years, Admiral Singh has served in a variety of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments. He has commanded missile corvette INS Vijaydurg, guided-missile destroyers INS Rana and INS Delhi during his career.
His appointment, where he superseded Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, head of the Andaman and Nicobar-based tri-Service command who was senior to him, has been marred by controversy. Verma has filed a petition with the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), questioning the appointment since he was the seniormost officer to succeed Admiral Lanba. Verma’s statutory complaint about the grievance was rejected by the government.
This week, AFT asked the government to submit all files related to the selection process and set July 17 as the next date of hearing. The government had sought more time to respond to the petition and the Armed Forces Tribunal also gave permission for Admiral Singh to assume charge as the Navy Chief in the interim.
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