Two senior generals will be the first army officers to benefit from a key amendment last month to the force’s rules governing the appointment of army commanders, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.
The lieutenant generals will now be eligible to take over the reins of two of the army’s seven commands sometime this year. What has thrust them into the reckoning for these top jobs is a change in the residual service clause for appointment as army commanders.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the two lieutenant generals as Ranbir Singh and Rajeshwar Singh. Until the rules were changed in December-end, only those lieutenant generals who had 24 months of service left could be considered for the post of army commander.
However, the new rules have now reduced the required residual service from 24 months to 18 months — a move that is likely to change the complexion of the army’s top hierarchy in the coming years, the person added.
“The two generals will be the immediate beneficiaries of the change in rules. The army will now have a larger talent pool to pick from while making top appointments,” a senior officer said. If the rules had not been altered, the generals (and other similarly placed officers) would have had to settle for other senior appointments such as principal staff officers to the army chief or heads of arms in the army headquarters, the officer added on condition of anonymity.