Welcome address by Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF on Vimarsh talk by Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff on 07 April 2021

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this edition of the Vimarsh lecture series.

We invite the top security officials to the platform for a robust interaction with the public on national security issues. In the last few months, we have had the honour of hosting the Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs.

Today we have the honour of welcoming General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC, the Chief of Defence Staff.

It is great pleasure for me to introduce the General.

General Bipin Rawat is an alumnus of St Edward's School, Shimla and the National Defence Academy. He was commissioned on 16 Dec 1978 into the Fifth Battalion of the Eleventh Gorkha Rifles of the Infantry, the Battalion which was Commanded by his father. While graduating from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, he was awarded the coveted 'Sword of Honour'.

The General has a vast operational experience, having served across a wide spectrum of combat and conflict situations. He has commanded an Infantry Battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector and a Rashtriya Rifles Sector in the Kashmir Valley. Soon thereafter, he went on to Command a Multinational Brigade in a Chapter VII Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He was assigned to Command an Infantry Division along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and was Corps Commander in the North-East. As an Army Commander, he was responsible to oversee operations in the Desert sector, along the Western front.

General Rawat has held several important instructional and staff appointments. These include instructional tenures at the Indian Military Academy (Dehradun) and at the Junior Command Wing as the Senior Instructor. He was the General Staff Officer at Military Operations Directorate, the Colonel and later Deputy Military Secretary in the Military Secretary's Branch, the Major General, General Staff of the Eastern Theatre and then the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

The General was the Chief of the Army Staff from 31 Dec 2016 to 31 Dec 2019.

A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (Wellington) and the Command and General Staff Course, Fort Leavenworth (USA). He has attended the Higher Command Course at Mhow and is a graduate of the National Defence College, New Delhi. Academically inclined, the General has authored several articles on National Security and Military Leadership which have been published in various Journals and Publications. He also holds two diplomas in Management and in Computer Studies. The General was awarded the 'Doctorate of Philosophy' (Ph.D) for his research on 'Military Media Strategic Studies' by the Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut.

For the distinguished service rendered and valour displayed over the span of over 42 years of his entire service career, General Bipin Rawat has been conferred several Presidential Awards which include the PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM and the VSM.

Besides these, he has been awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation on two occasions as also the Army Commander's Commendation. While serving with the UN in Congo, he was twice awarded the Force Commander's Commendation.

General Bipin Rawat was appointed India's first Chief of Defence Staff on 31 Dec 2019.

Friends,

The geopolitical environment is changing rapidly. New political, economic and security groupings are being formed. Great power rivalries are deepening. The signs of a new bloc formations are visible. Multilateralism is under stress.

With that the national security challenges are becoming increasingly complex. An accurate assessment of threats and challenges becomes very important. That is why there has been suggestions for evolving a National Security Strategy.

India’s national security planners would have to take on board the implications of the rise of China, the impact of technology on the functioning of the Armed Forces, the emergence of information space is a domain of warfare,

In a far-reaching decision the government, after a prolonged debate lasting nearly two decades, institutionalised the Chief of Defence Staff. General Bipin Rawat is the first Chief of Defence Staff. As CDS he has been involved in shaping India’s response to China challenge which manifested last year and has not gone away.

It will be interesting to know how the new situation has impacted our national security, particularly the functioning of the Armed Forces.

General Rawat will speak to us on Shaping the Armed Forces to meet likely Current and Future Challenges.

Gen Rawat.

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