Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat has passed away in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. He was among the 14 people who were on board, including his wife and staff members. Thirteen people have succumbed to the crash, including CDS Rawat, Madhulika Rawat and 11 others. An IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident. Wing Commander Prithvi Singh Chauhan was the pilot of the Mi-17V5.
About General Bipin Rawat:
- General Rawat completed his education at St Edward School, Shimla and is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. He was commissioned in the Fifth Battalion of the Eleventh Gorkha Rifles in December 1978 from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, where he was also awarded the Sword of Honour.
- Academically inclined, he has written numerous articles on national security and leadership, which have been published in various journals.
- He joined the army as a second lieutenant in 1978 and has four decades of service behind him, having commanded forces in Kashmir and along the Line of Actual Control bordering China.
- He is credited with reducing insurgency on India’s northeastern frontier and supervised a cross-border counter-insurgency operation into neighbouring Myanmar.
- Rawat was chief of the army from 2017 to 2019 before his elevation to defence services chief, which analysts said was to improve integration between the army, navy and air force.