Gen. Mukund takes over as Indian COAS

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NEW DELHI: General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday took over as the 28th Chief of Army Staff, helming the 1.3 million-strong force at a time India faces evolving security challenges such as cross-border terrorism and an assertive Chinese military along the border. General Naravane, who was serving as vice chief of the Army, succeeds General BipinRawat, appointed the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff, a post created to bring in operational convergence among the three services. As Army chief, General Naravane’s priorities are expected to be to implement long-pending reforms of the Army, contain cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and bolster the operational capabilities of the force along the northern border where China has been ramping up its military infrastructure in Tibet. Before being appointed vice chief, the alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy headed the Army’s Eastern Command that takes care of India’s nearly 4,000-km border with China.