Ending suspense of over 50 days, the government on today appointed Admiral RK Dhowan as the Chief of the Naval Staff.
Top post of Indian navy was lying vacant since February 26 after Admiral DK Joshi quit as the navy chief over a series of operational incidents, Vice Admiral Robin Dhowan has been named a his successor.
Admiral RK Dhowan was commissioned in the Navy on 01 Jan 1975. He is a Navigation and Direction specialist who has served with distinction in an array of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments through his exemplary career spanning 40 years. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
He has commanded front line warships INS Khukri, INS Ranjit, INS Delhi and served as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Headquarters Western Naval Command. He has also served as Indian Naval Adviser at the High Commission of India, London. He has commanded the Eastern Fleet as Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam. He also has the distinction of commanding the prestigious ‘National Defence Academy’, his alma mater as the Commandant.
The important staff appointments held by the Admiral at Naval Headquarters are Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy and plans), Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Chief of Naval Staff.
Dhowan, who is also officiating chief of naval staff after admiral Joshi's sudden departure, was touted as the the frontrunner for this post.
Indian Navy, one of the world's largest navies, had been running 'headless' for over 50 days and UPA-II government was not been able to appoint head of Indian navy calling the situation as 'unprecedented'. Expressing concern over this, the BJP had attacked the Congress-led UPA government for its "laid back" approach in filling up the top post.
Following a number of mishaps involving naval warships over the last seven months, Joshi had resigned his post taking "moral responsibility" for the incidences. It was the first time in the last 15 years that a Naval chief had to leave office in controversial circumstances. Prior to this Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat was sacked by the NDA Government in 1998 when George Fernandes was the Defence Minister.