Admiral Nirmal Verma takes over as Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Nirmal Verma took over from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, as the 20th CNS of Independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Nirmal Verma took over from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, as the 20th CNS of Independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.
Admiral Nirmal Verma took over as the new Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) here today from Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who has retired.

Adm Verma is the 20th CNS of independent India and the 18th Indian to take command of the Indian Navy.

In the morning, Adm Verma paid tribute to the country’s martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and then inspected a Guard of Honour at the lawns of South Block. Later, in his office, the outgoing Chief formally handed over the Chief’s telescope to Adm Verma.

The change of command included a poignant ceremony when Adm Mehta was bid adieu by the Principal Staff Officers and other senior staff officers of the Indian Navy by pulling out his jeep.

Talking to mediapersons after assuming office, Adm Verma said that it was a great "privilege and honour" to take command of such a fine service manned by a new generation of technology savvy officers and sailors.

Outlining his priorities, he said that his emphasis would be on consolidating and sustaining the growth of the Navy with due attention to indigenisation. He cited the acquisition of the aircraft carrier Vikramaditya, the new Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft P8I and the Scorpene submarine as being of utmost priority.

On the topic of indigenisation, he also highlighted the need to closely monitor development and production activities to ensure induction within planned time frames, stating that alternate options must be processed concurrently to ensure that there was no void in combat capability.

He stressed the importance of maintaining high Maritime Domain Awareness, synergising the weapon-sensor grid and ensuring seamless connectivity over a networked force. He stated that the training of the Navy was also being realigned to man the technology intensive force.

Adm Verma is a specialist in Communication and Electronic Warfare with nearly four decades of experience across various assignments. His sea tenures include Commands of INS Udaygiri, a Leander Class Frigate; INS Ranvir, a Kashin Class Destroyer; and the Aircraft Carrier, INS Viraat.

In assignments that shape future leadership of the Indian Navy, he has commanded the Indian Naval Academy at Goa, been Head of Naval Training Team at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, and Senior Directing Staff (Navy) at the National Defence College, New Delhi.

As part of crew for the first Kashin Class Destroyer inducted into the Indian Navy in 1980, he trained in the former Soviet Union. He has attended professional mid and senior level courses at the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, UK and the Naval Command Course at the US Naval War College, Rhode Island respectively. Upon elevation to Flag Rank, as a Rear Admiral he has contributed to consolidation of growth and development of the Naval Commands first as the Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command and thereafter as Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area.

Evolution of the maritime capabilities and policies for future induction were steered by Adm Verma in his capacity as the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Policy & Plans).

On promotion to Vice Admiral in Nov 2005, he guided the Human Resource Development programmes of the Navy, formulating personnel and service policies as the Chief of Personnel.

In his capacity as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Verma, structured the framework for the transformation of the navies combat capabilities and infrastructure development.

The Admiral is a recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for meritorious service, and is also the Honorary Aide-de-Camp to the President of India.

Admiral Verma is married to Madhulika and they have two sons Hemant and Anant, who are in the creative and business fields respectively.

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