Senior Appointments

Lt Gen Milan Lalitkumar Naidu, till recently Army Commander of Army's Shimla-based Training Command is to be the next Vice Chief of the Indian Army.

Commissioned in the Rajput Regiment in December 1967, Lt Gen ML Naidu has had a long and chequered career having served in all sectors and terrain in India and abroad. As Commanding Officer of 5 Rajput, he participated in operation Pawan in Sri Lanka where he was awarded the Yudh Seva Medal. He has the experience of commanding a brigade in the semi-desert terrain, a division in the plains of Punjab during operation Parakram and a corps in the high altitude and glaciated area.

Lt Gen Milan Naidu

Selected to attend the Defence Services Staff College Course in Canada, Lt Gen Naidu has also attended the Higher Command Course at the Army War College. He also holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental and Ecological Sciences.

Lt Gen Naidu's forte has been in the field of instruction. Having trained cadets and young officers at the Indian Military Academy and the Infantry School, he has also had the distinction of being the Commandant of Indian Army's premier officers's training establishment for combat - Army War College. Lt Gen Naidu has had varied operational staff experience at all levels including a stint at the Military Operations Directorate at Army HQs. He was also the Defence Attache in Germany. He is also the recipient of Ati Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished services.

Lt Gen JK Mohanty presently Commandant of Mhow-based Army War College, has been appointed as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Shimla-based Army Training Command.

Lt Gen Mohanty is an alumnus of Sainik School, Bhubaneshwar. He joined the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla and was in commissioned into the Dogra Regiment in 1969.

Lt Gen Mohanty has been an instructor at Indian Military Team in Bhutan and commanded his battalion in high altitude and counter- terrorism area in J&K, where his unit earned the three highest peace time gallantry awards of Ashok Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra in a single operation.

Lt Gen Milan Naidu

Lt Gen Noble Thamburaj, presently a Corps Commander in Punjab, is to be the next Army Commander of Pune-based Southern Command. Lt Gen Thamburaj is from the Corps of Engineers.

Lt Gen Thamburaj holds the unique distinction of being the only Sappers officer to command a Rashtriya Rifle Sector during operation Vijay and an Infantry Division during operation Parakram. A qualified paratrooper, he was also an instructor at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Officers Training Academy, Chennai.

Lt Gen Thamburaj has been a recipient of Sena Medal and Chief of the Army Staff Commendation Card, twice in his distinguished career.

Lt Gen Tej Kumar Sapru is to be the next General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Chandimandir based Western Command.

Lt Gen Sapru has held various prestigious instructional, staff and command appointments. He was Assistant Military and Air Attache in the Embassy of India in Nepal. His other staff assignments include the General Staff Officer in the Directorate General of Military Operations, Army Headquarters, Colonel General Staff in an active Division in J&K, Deputy Military Secretary in Military Secretary Branch and Additional Director General (Procurement) Master General of Ordnance Branch. He was also the Commander of the Junior Leaders' Wing of the Infantry School at Belguam. He has been awarded the Chief of Army Staff Commendation in 1985 and the Yudh Seva Medal for distinguished services in active operations in 1999.

Lt Gen Milan Naidu

Air Commodore Subhash Chander Luthra took over as Air Officer Commanding of 3 Base Repair Depot Air Force at Chandigarh.

Air Cmde Luthra was commissioned in Engineering Branch of the Indian Air Force on July 25, 1977. He has held various important appointments including Commanding Officer of a Signal Unit, Senior Engineer (Electronics) of two premier IAF bases, Senior Engineer (Aircraft) of a premier IAF base and Chief Engineer of a fighter base. He has undergone Long Defence Management Course.

Air Cmde Luthra got Commendation by AOC-in-C, Western Air Command, and was commended by Chief of the Air Staff in the very first year of his service. He is a proud recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal.

Lt Gen Milan Naidu

inputs: PIB (DW) and Ashish Goyal

Enhancement of Uncongenial Climate Allowance

The High Altitude (Uncongenial Climate) Allowance is payable to the Armed Forces personnel deployed in high altitude (uncongenial climate) areas. The government has recently decided to grant enhanced rates of High Altitude (Uncongenial Climate) Allowance to troops deployed in more difficult, hazardous and isolated areas above 14,000 ft within the existing High Altitude (Uncongenial Climate) Areas at the rate of Rs 5,600 per month for officers and Rs 3,734 per month for Personnel Below Officer Rank with a view to rationalise the High Altitude Allowance. The enhanced allowance is 80 per cent of Siachen Allowance and is comparable to Siachen Allowance in proportion to the physical hardships being faced by the Armed Forces personnel.

Besides, the Government has decided to provide the following travel facilities for Armed Forces personnel: Grant of one additional free rail warrant every year to all ranks of Armed Forces serving in field/high altitude/counter insurgency/counter terrorism operational areas to travel to and from their duty station and hometown/selected place of residence.

All Service personnel would be eligible to avail leave travel concession once a year to their hometown in India or selected place of residence in India and every alternate year to any place in India in lieu of hometown or selected place of residence without any distance restriction.

This information was given by Defence Minister, Mr AK Antony in a written reply to Eknath K Thakur in Rajya Sabha on August 29.