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Gen. Nirmal Chander Vij
Born January 3, 1943
Place of birth Jammu
Allegiance Flag of India.svg India
Service/branch Indian Army
Years of service 11 December 1962 to 31 January 2005
Rank General

General Nirmal Chander Vij (born January 3, 1943, in Jammu) was the 21st Indian Chief of Army Staff during 1 Jan 2003 - 31 Jan 2005.[1][2]


General Vij was born on January 3, 1943 [3] at Jammu. He completed his studies at the SRML Higher Secondary School, Jammu and joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) in 1959. He was commissioned into the Dogra Regiment on 11 December 1962. Within weeks of his commissioning, he saw action in the Walong sector in the 1962 Indo-China War. Since then he has served in the eastern sector six times, the last time being as the General Officer Commanding of the IV Corps. Vij has served as the General Staff Officer of an Infantry Division, a Director in the Military Operations Directorate as a Colonel and Deputy Director General of Perspective Planning (Strategic Planning) as a Brigadier at Army HQ in New Delhi.[2][4]

Vij served as the Major General, General Staff at the Western Command in Chandimandir, Chandigarh (Punjab) and during the 1999 Kargil War, he served as the Director General Military Operations (DGMO). During this time he was criticized for appearing, in his professional capacity before a group of senior BJP leaders, and briefing them. In 1999, he broke the military tradition to brief members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on operations in Kargil.[5] when he was Director General of Military Operations.[6] For his services as the DGMO, he was awarded the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal. He was involved was the planning and execution of Operation Khukri - to extricate trapped Indian peacekeeping troops in Sierra Leone. The formations he has commanded include a mountain brigade involved in active counter-insurgency operations in the north east, an elite RAPID (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Division) unit, the 1 Strike Corps based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and the IV Corps based at Tezpur, Assam. He is also a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM). On 1 October 2000, Vij was appointed as the GOC of Southern Command at Pune and led the Army's rescue efforts during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. In October 2001, he was appointed as the Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS) at New Delhi and in January 2002, he was appointed as the 10th Colonel of the Dogra Regiment and the Dogra Scouts. He was appointed as the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) on 1 January 2005. He is married to Rita Vij and they have a son, Nalin, who is a software engineer in the United States.[2] General Vij retired on 31 January 2005, after completing more than 42 years service.

Post RetirementEdit

As of 2010, he is the Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, with an equivalent rank of a Union Minister of State.[7]

Recent controversyEdit

Builders by name Adarsh Housing Cooperative Society have been constructing buildings in the prime government land in Mumbai. The permission for construction on this government land has been taken in name of providing the affordable accommodation to war widows and the land had been reserved for this purpose. However, many politicians, top military officials, other bureaucrats and their relatives have taken the ownership of the flats.[8] Ashok Chavan, current chief minister of Maharashtra, resigned under pressure for his role in this scam. CBI is probing the scam. Gen N C Vij along with two other former military chiefs - Gen Deepak Kapoor, and Admiral Madhvendra Singh have offered to give up their apartments. [9]

See alsoEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Sundararajan Padmanabhan
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Joginder Jaswant Singh


  1. "Gen NC Vij Takes Over As New Chief Of Army Staff". Financial Express. 1 January 2003. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "General Nirmal Chander Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (31 Dec 2002 to 31 Jan 2005)". Indian Army. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  3. Shankar Prasad, The Gallant Dogras: An Illustrated History of the Dogra Regiment (Lancer Publishers, 2005) p433
  4. Press Trust of India. "N C Vij appointed new army chief". Rediff. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  5. DUTTA, SUJAN (1 February 2005). "Army baton in hand, "Tiger" roars". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  6. Swami, Praveen (13 August 1999). "Now, the cover-up". Frontline. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  7. "Gen. N.C.Vij PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retd) Vice Chairman". National Disaster Management Agency. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  8. "Maha CM link in Adarsh Housing scam". Retrieved 30 October 2010. 
  9. "Army, Navy chiefs offer to return flats". The Times Of India. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010. 

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