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The Indian MoD used Twitter on 17 December to announce the appointment of new military and intelligence chiefs, two weeks ahead of the scheduled retirement of its two most senior service commanders.

Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt.Gen. Bipin Rawat was named to succeed Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhaag as the new army chief. Some controversy surrounds the appointment of Rawat, a counter-insurgency specialist with experience of operating in the Line of Control disputed area between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. Indian media reports this is the first time since 1983 that the outgoing chief of the army has not simply been replaced by the next most senior officer: Rawat was selected ahead of at least two more senior candidates.

Air Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, a fighter pilot, was chosen as the successor to Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha to head the Indian Air Force.

In a simultaneous move, Rajiv Jain was appointed head of the Domestic Intelligence Bureau and Anil Dhasmana as head of the Research and Analysis Wing, Indiaa’s external intelligence agency. Both appointments are for two-year terms.

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