Thursday, February 27, 2014

Chief Quits, Indian Navy 'Succession Line' Thrown Out Of Gear

With Admiral DK Joshi's resignation as Chief of Naval Staff on Wednesday, the entire seniority-based succession line to the Navy Chief's post has dramatically changed.

Admiral DK Joshi was to demit office as navy chief in Aug 2015. On his retirement, the Navy's current Southern Command chief Vice Admiral Satish Soni would have taken over as Navy chief, followed by Vice Admiral Girish Luthra (currently Director, Naval Operations), and then Rear Admiral Ajith Kumar (currently Commandant, Naval Academy, Ezhimala). That line died with Admiral Joshi throwing in the towel 18 months before he was to retire.

The current officer officiating as Navy chief is Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan, Vice Chief of Naval Staff. If he is chosen as the next Navy chief, his tenure will be extended by two years, since he retires on March 31. His appointment is one of two possibilities.

If Dhowan isn't appointed chief by March 31, the government will pick one of the following officers: Western Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha or Eastern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral Anil Chopra. While Admiral Sinha is the senior between the two, the government is unlikely to choose him since most of the incidents/accidents over the last few months that have precipitated the dramatic exit of the Navy chief, happened under the jurisdiction of Sinha's command. Therefore, Vice Adm Chopra appears to be the more probable of the two. His name, therefore, is the second of two possibilities.

If Chopra is appointed Navy chief, officers down the line in waiting to be future chiefs include Vice Admiral Pradeep Chatterjee (currently Deputy Chief of Naval Staff) and Vice Admiral SPS Cheema (currently chief of the Strategic Forces Command).

26 comments :

Anonymous said...

Trouble for the lobbyists? Will have to rework their equations over the new chain?

Anonymous said...

I feel government should take a very matured and responsible approach and if I would have been defense minister I would appoint admiral Joshi as a chief safety officer for the navy so that he can work on the safety of the ships and submarine and that would be a great responsibility and service to the nation which admiral Joshi would fulfill to the best of his abilities as a true soldier and he would help sensor integration and address all safety issues of the navy.i would give him the same salary and same status with a fund so that he can fulfill and complete his responsibility.

Ranjit said...

All Navies of the world select officers based on their merit. Why do Indian Navy or Army or Air Force, do their officer promotion based on seniority??

Since when has age become a better selection criteria than merit???

Then one can also argue for reservation for weaker sections in promotion here?? That would also be valid if only seniority is required !!

Anonymous said...

up for merit.....
down for age

Prodyut said...

There will be a flutter in the dovecots of North Block.
A the plans of mice and men/ oft gang a'gley.
The carefully crafted succession plan is now in dis array.

Anonymous said...

@Ranjit
What is the criteria of merit in a Navy where officers have been accused of one sided wife swapping for promotions and other benefits? Where such things happen, such frequent disasters are not unexpected.
Something is seriously wrong in our armed forces where men of very low moral fiber are rising to the top most position. Earlier this phenomena was restricted to Indian Army, now it has spread to other two wings of the military.

Anonymous said...

Sabotage by disgruntled employee of Navy. Navy officer's WIFE SWAPPING culture must stop!

Indian said...

Pradut>>The carefully crafted succession plan is now in dis array.

I would say the succession plan is NOW crafted (via these series of SABOTAGES ) to suit some others interest.

Like they re-worked /crafted succession plan in Army by putting some one in line(who was supposed to be OUT of the chain)..just because got trained there and also had worked alongside intel. agencies of a big country. So that any time if in the future civilian govt in India does not obey the dictation of another big country...then some one in the top in Army can change the course of the history..like happened in Pak.



Anonymous said...

Ultimately what Antony has done is to throw a spanner in well oiled defence forces. He has acheived with elan and alacrity by his indecisiveness.

Anonymous said...

"with Admiral Joshi 'throwing in the towel'.." - poor choice of words there.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is the new line more white than the old line? Any hint of racism?

Ankit said...

NO doubt that Antony has been the worst defence minister of India. Just see how were these forces in 2004 and where they are in 2014.

Army went through Supreme Court last year with so much drama of coup and what not. Air Force is losing fighters while inducting less and less. Navy is loosing whatever it has.

I wonder whether there will be anything left by the time new government comes into power!! Modi might have to start from scratch!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6.35, it IS just you.

Anonymous said...

I like the post - "Succession Line". Reminds of not so long time back of Mughals - Babar -> Akbar -> Jahangir - > Shahjahan -> Aurangzeb.
That was blood line - and it followed time - you are iterating over space - this is reason that gentleman resigned. He should have pulled up right from the first incidence - I mean how hard it is to manage 58000 workforce with 20 hierarchial levels - Navy is equipment intensive organization - with each piece of crap costing its weight in gold - you really can not expect to keep messing up over couple of years even in Government of India headed by UPA - Come on - he really is an incompetent person - infact not only him - but many more both mil and civil need to go - either as a martyr or through a kick. 2 young people died - their families should kick them. 58000 human beings in a country of 1000,000,000 and 12 or 13 submarines - you guys must be really off your rocker - that they can not manage this small navy without an accident. Very incompetent bunch of people.

Anonymous said...

Gentleman should have taken financial and administrative responsibility along with moral responsibility. It was his job to put safety environment in place - he did not do his job and even while leaving took on mantle of martyr - really !! these people should wake and see that this is 21st century - if these individuals would have been working for any one other than GoI - they would have been let go long time back. Just to put in perspective - 1000 times the total inventory of IN is on the sea everyday with less than 1/20th of the manpower - i.e. a ratio of atleast 20000 : 1 that too without an accident.

Anonymous said...

Let us elect Admiral Joshi to the Lok Sabha and let he be the next Raksha Mantri !

Ankit said...

None of the submarines are less than 30 year old in Indian Navy.

The minesweeper which caught fire was supposed to be replaced 15 years ago and when South Korean President was here last month, she asked India why even after selection of Korean Shipyard for minesweepers, the deal was not being signed? ManMaun Singh didn't say that loser Italian company InterMarine had blocked the deal with its "contacts".

Airawat ship and the sub which bottomed was because of lack of dredging in Mumbai and Vizag ports. Despite Navy's regular requests, MoD doesn't pay even for dredging, unless pliant companies get the deal.

What could Joshi do when he got nothing to keep his force fighting fit and on top, you ask him to defend the entire ocean.

His case is no better than Army and Air Force which are crying for MoD's attention and management.

That's why Antony should own up the responsibility and resign. He has acted most selfishly, always looking for himself and not for the nation.He is an incompetent, self-centered man, unfit for the Defence Minister's post.

Anonymous said...

The person should not resigned. Personally I don't have anything against any particular person - but this person took an oath to serve and if for any reason - he could not do his job including NOT LOSING YOUNG LIVES IN PEACEFUL TIME then he should have written to prime minister ahead of time - that is his duty - I mean how hard it is to write 2 line letter when you get paid almost 10000 Rs per day with staff of 20 people who also get paid rs 1000 / per day ?

Really very incompetent corrupt and dishonest people who are more willing to become martyr rather than doing their work for which they get overpaid and over compensated.

Anonymous said...

I mean - Shiv - you are a media person - atleast - you can directly communicate with these people who are in some sort of position of power and responsibility - How hard is it make sure that systems which can generate smoke, fire, explosion or chemical reaction in a sub be checked 1000 times by 100 different agencies so that lives are not lost ? All sub should be got back to dry dock immediately - all their systems stopped and drained - all batteries replaced - and only after checking 10000000 times - they should be put back to any sea. Each ship should be put thru 10 sigma process - if needed take help of private sector - each ship should be mapped to a micron to detect any sign of damage and rectified.

Ankit said...

@Anon 8.36 and 8.50

You assume that Joshi or other service chiefs never write to government about the service's situation. You even forgot V K Singh's letter that was leaked by GoI where he mentioned that he had 4 days of ammunition for tanks.

The problem is even after service chiefs keep crying for their needs, this sloth defence minister and his procrastination does not let the forces get anything. On top, this Antony supervises an empire of corruption in MoD.

Tell me, when all over India, if there is bribery case, the officer who is taking bribe is punished. Then how come foreign arms companies were blacklisted whereas the bribe was being asked by MoD officials? These officials should have been sacked long ago. But No, Anty will do nothing. He loves that way.

Anonymous said...

Its high time that retired defence officers form part of the core group which decides about what's good or bad for the military . . . rather than having a bunch of bureaucrats who have a minimal idea of what's happening on ground . . we must stop this ivory tower business wherein ppl who are in high positions make decisions without understanding the repercussions or the effects...

Anonymous said...

Its high time that retired defence officers form part of the core group which decides about what's good or bad for the military . . . rather than having a bunch of bureaucrats who have a minimal idea of what's happening on ground . . we must stop this ivory tower business wherein ppl who are in high positions make decisions without understanding the repercussions or the effects...

Anonymous said...

@ankit - you are identifying the symptomss not the malady - this is an arrangement of convenience not of any moral uprightness. There is this so called succession line - so even if you don't do anything (less do anything proactive) GoI would reward you with top most post because of date of birth. so the gentlemen neever do anything - VKS case is more of political opportunism - same like pervez M - only difference is that he is pouting words. There is work force of 58000 - across 6 or 7 different commands and 20 to 30 different hierarchies - the only thing they have to manage is equipment - that too how many - and they can not even do that job. you would be surprised to know that commercial shipping work at 1/1000 level - I know there are differences - but not that many - they have to re focus on safety- if they want to break bureacratic sloth at both mil/civil level - they should bring in private contractors who just work for money and not interested in long term political relations - that is what all companies and organizations do. In the US/Britain - people are FIRED before the accidents happen - In India people start taking MORAL responsibility after string of accidents, death, wife swapping- they need a strong leader who is not going to come from succession line.

Anonymous said...

@ankit - I don't hold anything against any particular person - it is just that these people lack the perspective and also capability to take quick and strong action - just compare perspectives of US,Russia,Japan - and even Australia - who are engaged in issues much beyond their borders - for that you need a capable navy - what is their constraint - is it money - is it technology - is it capable people - or is it just politics - all these constraints have an answer - to be honest - I don't think any of these constraints are relevant - these people should have started building their own capabilities much sooner and faster - instead of sending and receiving everything from russia - even now this admiral has 30-40 years experience - what will he do sitting at home - he should be involved atleast as a recommendatory person - who can look beyond day to day politics and now hopefully who is out of the rat race.

Anonymous said...

It is high time we follow merit as this save IN from future embarrassment. New chief should be bold to take stand when required. I feel Vadm SPS Cheema may be the right bet.

Unknown said...

Thank you Expert
We could do without the likes of you