New Army Chief assumes office
President Ram Baran Yadav appointed him the CoAS amid a function at Sheetal Niwas. Yadav, who is the supreme commander of the Nepal Army , conferred on Gen Rana the insignia and administered him the oath of office.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, members of the Cabinet, senior officials and heads of security agencies were present in the ceremony. After the oath taking ceremony, the Army chief returned to the Army Headquarters where he was greeted with a guard of honour by the Army.
Gen Rana recommended the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to entrust the responsibility of the Chief of General Staff (CGS) on Lt Gen Nepal Bhusan Chand. He also signed a proposal for the promotion of Maj Gen Netra Bahadur Thapa to a vacant post of Lt Gen to oversee the responsibility of the Chief of Staff (CoS).
The effort to transfer Chand from the CoS to CGS is seen as an attempt to take the Lt Gen, who was once Gen Rana's rival in the race for the post of the Army chief, into confidence. The CGS is a powerful department responsible for the operations, intelligence and training branches generally looked after by the second-in-command of the Army.
The CoS looks after UN peacekeeping operations, nature conversation, wildlife preservation, National Cadet Corps and various welfare schemes of the Army. Maj Gen Thapa, whose promotion proposal has been forwarded to the MoD, is serving as the Director General of Military Operations.
The government had decided to appoint Gen Rana as the Army chief on August 27. The new military leader replaces Gen Chhatra Man Singh Gurung, who completed his three-year tenure and retired on Sunday.
The new Army chief comes from a family where joining the military has remained a tradition. He joined the Army in 1974 by following the footsteps of his father, the late Maj Gen Aditya SJB Rana.
He was commissioned into the Purano Gorakh Battalion after completing training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK. He is the colonel commandant of this battalion, also commanded by his father earlier. Rana led this battalion, which is one of the oldest units in the Nepal Army , and a battalion of ethnic Magars, in active operational duty in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1994.
Rana is an alumnus of the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, USA and the National Defence University, Pakistan. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from Tribhuvan University and a Masters Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-E-Azam University of Pakistan.
Rana who likes to call himself "an ardent student of military history" enjoys playing golf, ornithology and mountian biking. Gen Rana is married to Rohini Rana, who hails from Awagarh of Etah district, Uttar Pradesh in India and they have two daughters, two grandsons and one grand daughter.
Posted on: 2012-09-10 06:00