Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said Gen M M Naravane, in his role as the Army Chief, contributed to strengthening India's defence capabilities and preparedness.
The Defence Ministry said his tenure will be remembered for the "resolute reply" to the Northern adversary in Eastern Ladakh and for a determined push towards self-reliance in defence besides embracing niche and disruptive technologies to fight future wars.
General Naravane retired from service on Saturday after an illustrious career spanning 42 years. General Manoj Pande took charge as the new Army Chief.
"Had a wonderful meeting with the Army Chief, General MM Naravane, who is going to retire today after serving the nation for 42 years. His contributions as a military leader have strengthened India's defence capabilities and preparedness," the defence minister tweeted.
"I wish him success in his future endeavours," he said.
General Naravane called on President Ram Nath Kovind, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces.
"His tenure in the office will be remembered for ensuring the health of Indian Army personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic, resolute reply to the Northern adversary in Eastern Ladakh, and a determined push towards Atmanirbharta, besides embracing niche and disruptive technologies to fight future wars," the defence ministry said.
It said General Naravane gave impetus to military diplomacy, was instrumental in furthering good relations with India's partner nations, and enhanced the country's comprehensive national power.
"His tenure saw the completion of the restructuring of Army HQ in New Delhi, resulting in a much more leaner and integrated decision-making body.
"He was an enthusiastic supporter for theaterisation and was familiar with the challenges involved in creating synergies amongst the three services," the ministry said in a statement.
It said Gen Naravane also pushed for the operationalization of integrated battle groups (IBGs).
"General Naravane was a soldier's soldier and was concerned about the welfare of the troops. He visited the forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Eastern Ladakh and the Northeast number of times and actively pursued the cases for rapid construction of accommodation and habitats for the newly inducted troops in Eastern Ladakh, post-April 2020," the ministry said.
The eastern Ladakh standoff began in May 2020.
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy, he was commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in June 1980.
He is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Higher Command Course, Mhow.
Gen Naravane had taken charge as the Army Chief on December 31, 2019.
Under his leadership, the Indian Army significantly enhanced its overall surveillance and preparedness along the Line of Actual Control with China following the eastern Ladakh standoff that began in May 2020.
Gen Naravane was accorded a guard of honour at the South Block lawns before he demitted the office of the Chief of Army Staff.
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