Meet General Upendra Dwivedi: The New Indian Army Chief Transforming Military Leadership!

General Upendra Dwivedi Takes Command as New Indian Army Chief

On Sunday, General Upendra Dwivedi officially became the 30th Chief of the Indian Army, following the retirement of General Manoj Pande, who served with distinction for over four decades. Known for his decisive and innovative approach, General Dwivedi’s military career began in 1984 when he was commissioned into the 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles.

General Dwivedi’s education includes attending Sainik School in Rewa, the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. The defence ministry has highlighted his impressive military career, marked by a balance of command and staff roles across Northern, Eastern, and Western theatres.

At 60, General Dwivedi is noted for his vegetarian lifestyle, enthusiasm for yoga, and hobbies that include photography and reading. He excelled in physical training during his time at the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, earning a gold medal at the Army Institute of Physical Training in Pune as a young lieutenant. He was also a standout athlete, particularly in the triple jump.

Before his appointment as vice chief of the army in February 2024, General Dwivedi served as the Northern Army Commander for two years. The Northern Command, headquartered in Udhampur, is key to protecting India’s borders with Pakistan and China and managing counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir. During his tenure, he provided strategic direction and oversaw continuous operations along these borders, including negotiations with China over the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

General Dwivedi’s leadership comes at a critical time, with the India-China military standoff in Ladakh now entering its fifth year. The situation along the LAC remains unresolved, though there are hopes that ongoing negotiations will help restore conditions to what they were in April 2020.

The global geopolitical landscape is increasingly complex, with heightened security challenges due to technological advancements and the evolving nature of warfare. According to the defence ministry, General Dwivedi’s key priorities will include maintaining readiness to counter security threats and addressing non-traditional security challenges to strengthen the nation’s defence.

Over his 40-year career, General Dwivedi has held several significant positions, such as Deputy Chief at Army Headquarters, General Officer Commanding of the Yol-based HQs 9 Corps, Director General of Infantry, and Inspector General of Assam Rifles in the North-east. He also commanded his battalion in Kashmir and Rajasthan.

As Director General of Infantry, he expedited the procurement of weapons, significantly enhancing the armed forces’ capabilities. As Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Information System and Coordination), he promoted the automation and integration of advanced technologies within the force. His international experience includes tenures in Somalia and Seychelles.

General Dwivedi has attended the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, the Higher Command Course at Army War College in Mhow, and the US Army War College in Carlisle. He is recognized for his deep understanding of modern and emerging technologies and is committed to integrating these advancements into military operations to boost effectiveness. This aligns with the Indian Army’s modernization and capability development initiatives through Atmanirbharta (self-reliance).

General Dwivedi’s focus will be on leveraging India’s dynamic and capable technology ecosystem to infuse critical technologies into the military. He aims to foster a culture of trust, empower junior officers, ensure the well-being of soldiers, and support veterans and Veer Naris (army widows).

His tenure begins amid calls from some National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies for a review of the Agnipath scheme, introduced in June 2022. This scheme represented a major shift from traditional recruitment practices, aiming to enlist soldiers for four years with an option to retain 25% for regular service. Those recruited under the scheme are known as Agniveers. General Dwivedi will also oversee the establishment of theatre commands, a crucial reform for optimizing the military’s resources for future conflicts.

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