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General Nirmal Chander Vij PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (born 3 January 1943, in Jammu) was the 21st Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He held the office from 1 Jan 2003 to 31 Jan 2005.[2][3]

Nirmal Chander Vij

General Vij.png
Born (1943-01-03) 3 January 1943 (age 76)
Jammu, State of Jammu and Kashmir, British Raj
(now in Jammu Division, Jammu and Kashmir, India)
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Army
Years of service1962–2005
RankGeneral of the Indian Army.svg General
Service numberIC-13710[1]
UnitDogra Regiment
Commands heldIA Southern Command.jpg Southern Army
IV Corps
I Corps
AwardsParam Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgParam Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgUttam Yudh Seva Medal
Uttam Yudh Seva Medal ribbon.svgAti Vishisht Seva Medal


General Vij was born on 3 January 1943[4] 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.[3][5]

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.[6] when he was director general of military operations.[7] 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.[3] General Vij retired on 31 January 2005, after completing more than 42 years service.

Post retirementEdit

He was the founder-Vice Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority, with an equivalent rank of a Union Minister of State.[8] He was the Director of the Vivekananda International Foundation think tank in New Delhi.

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.[9] Ashok Chavan, former 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 – General Deepak Kapoor, and Admiral Madhvendra Singh offered to give up their apartments. [10]


Dates of rankEdit

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
  Second Lieutenant Indian Army 11 December 1962[11]
  Lieutenant Indian Army 11 December 1964[12]
  Captain Indian Army 11 December 1968[13]
  Major Indian Army 11 December 1975[14]
  Lieutenant-Colonel Indian Army 20 October 1982[15]
  Colonel Indian Army 28 May 1986
  Brigadier Indian Army 25 September 1990[16]
  Major General Indian Army 1 October 1993[17]
  Lieutenant-General Indian Army 1997
Indian Army 1 January 2003[18]


  1. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence". The Gazette of India. 6 August 2005. p. 1366.
  2. ^ "Gen NC Vij Takes Over As New Chief Of Army Staff". Financial Express. 1 January 2003. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "General Nirmal Chander Vij, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (31 Dec 2002 to 31 Jan 2005)". Indian Army. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  4. ^ Shankar Prasad, The Gallant Dogras: An Illustrated History of the Dogra Regiment (Lancer Publishers, 2005) p433
  5. ^ Press Trust of India. "N C Vij appointed new army chief". Rediff. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  6. ^ DUTTA, SUJAN (1 February 2005). "Army baton in hand, "Tiger" roars". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  7. ^ Swami, Praveen (13 August 1999). "Now, the cover-up". Frontline. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  8. ^ "Gen. N.C.Vij PVSM, UYSM, AVSM (Retd) Vice Chairman". National Disaster Management Agency. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Maha CM link in Adarsh Housing scam". Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  10. ^ "Army, Navy chiefs offer to return flats". The Times Of India. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 30 October 2010.
  11. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 22 June 1963. p. 210.
  12. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 27 February 1965. p. 109.
  13. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 28 June 1969. p. 601.
  14. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 6 November 1976. p. 1534.
  15. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 June 1983. p. 898.
  16. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 22 August 1992. p. 1446.
  17. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 23 December 1995. p. 1775.
  18. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 10 May 2003. p. 632.
Military offices
Preceded by
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
Succeeded by
Arun Prakash
Preceded by
Sundararajan Padmanabhan
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Joginder Jaswant Singh
Preceded by
Sundararajan Padmanabhan
General Officer Commanding - in - Chief Southern Command
Succeeded by
Gurbaksh Singh Sihota