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List of Chief of the Naval Staff of India (1947 - 2021)

Arfa Javaid

Chief of the Naval Staff of India 2021: Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar took over as the 25th Chief of Naval Staff. He succeeded Chief Admiral Karambir Singh who retired on 30 November 2021. 

Chief of Naval Staff of India heads the Indian Navy. He is the highest-ranking naval officer on active service of the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) except if the Chief of Defence is a navy officer. The post of Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) has always been held by a full Admiral since 1966. 

Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Navy (1947–1948)

S. No.

Name

Tenure

Time served

1.

Rear Admiral 

John Talbot Savignac Hall 

(CIE)

15 August 1947

-

29 February 1948

198 days

Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Navy (1948–1950)

S. No.

Name

Tenure

Time served

1.

Rear Admiral 

John Talbot Savignac Hall 

(CIE)

1 March 1948

-

14 August 1948

166 days

2.  

Vice-Admiral

William Edward Parry

14 August 1948

-

25 January 1950

1 year, 164 days

Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Indian Navy (1950–1955)

S. No.

Name

Tenure

Time served

1.

Vice-Admiral

Sir William Edward Parry 

(KCB)

26 January 1950

-

13 October 1951

1 year, 260 days

2.   

Admiral

Sir Charles Thomas Mark Pizey (KBE, CB, DSO & Bar)

13 October 1951

-

31 March 1955

3 years, 169 days

Chief of the Naval Staff (1955–2021)

S. No.

Name

Tenure

Time served

1.

Admiral

Sir Charles Thomas Mark Pizey 

(KBE, CB, DSO & Bar)

1 April 1955

-

21 July 1955

111 days

2.

Vice-Admiral

Sir Stephen Hope Carlill

(KBE, CB, DSO & Bar)

21 July 1955

-

21 April 1958

2 years, 274 days

3.

Vice-Admiral

Ram Dass Katari

22 April 1958

-

4 June 1962

4 years, 43 days

4.

Vice-Admiral

Bhaskar Sadashiv Soman

4 June 1962

-

3 March 1966

3 years, 272 days

5.

Admiral

Adhar Kumar Chatterji

3 March 1966

-

28 February 1970

3 years, 362 days

6.

Admiral

Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda

(PVSM, AVSM)

28 February 1970

-

28 February 1973

3 years, 0 days

7.

Admiral

Sourendra Nath Kohli 

(PVSM)

1 March 1973

-

29 February 1976

2 years, 365 days

8.

Admiral

Jal Cursetji 

(PVSM)

1 March 1976

-

1 March 1979

3 years, 0 days

9.

Admiral

Ronald Lynsdale Pereira (PVSM, AVSM)

1 March 1979

-

28 February 1982

2 years, 364 days

10.

Admiral

Oscar Stanley Dawson 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

1 March 1982

-

30 November 1984

2 years, 274 days

11.

Admiral

Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani (PVSM, AVSM)

1 December 1984

-

30 November 1987

2 years, 364 days

12.

Admiral

Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni (PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC)

1 December 1987

-

30 November 1990

2 years, 364 days

13.

Admiral

Laxminarayan Ramdas

(PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC)

1 December 1990

-

30 September 1993

2 years, 303 days

14.

Admiral

Vijai Singh Shekhawat 

(PVSM, AVSM, VrC, ADC)

1 October 1993

-

30 September 1996

2 years, 365 days

15.

Admiral

Vishnu Bhagwat 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

1 October 1996

-

30 December 1998

2 years, 90 days

16.

Admiral

Sushil Kumar 

(PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, NM, ADC)

30 December 1998

-

29 December 2001

2 years, 364 days

17.

Admiral

Madhvendra Singh 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

29 December 2001

-

31 July 2004

2 years, 215 days

18.

Admiral

Arun Prakash 

(PVSM, AVSM, VrC, VSM, ADC)

31 July 2004

-

31 October 2006

2 years, 215 days

19.

Admiral

Sureesh Mehta 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

31 October 2006

-

31 August 2009

2 years, 304 days

20.

Admiral

Nirmal Kumar Verma 

(PVSM, AVSM)

31 August 2009

-

31 August 2012

3 years, 0 days

21.

Admiral

Devendra Kumar Joshi 

(PVSM, AVSM, YSM, NM, VSM, ADC)

31 August 2012

-

26 February 2014

1 year, 179 days

Vice Admiral

Robin K. Dhowan 

(PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC)

Acting

26 February 2014

-

17 April 2014

50 days

22.

Admiral

Robin K. Dhowan 

(PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC)

17 April 2014

-

31 May 2016

2 years, 44 days

23.

Admiral

Sunil Lanba 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

31 May 2016

-

31 May 2019

3 years, 0 days

24.

Admiral

Karambir Singh 

(PVSM, AVSM, ADC)

31 May 2019

-

30 November 2021

2 years, 183 days

25.

Admiral

R. Hari Kumar

(PVSM, AVSM, VSM)

30 November 2021

-

Present

0 days

Highlights about Chief of the Naval Staff

1- When India gained Independence from British rule, the head of the Navy was designated the Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Navy. The title was changed to Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Royal Indian Navy on 21 June 1948. 

2- On 26 January 1950, India became a republic and the Royal designation was dropped from the title. The new title was Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander-in-Chief.

3- Commanders-In-Chief (Change in Designation) Act, 1955 redesignated the head of the Indian Navy to the Chief of Naval Staff. 

4- Until 1968, the post of Chief of Naval Staff was held by a three-star rank Vice Admiral and was upgraded to the four-star rank of a full Admiral.

5- The Chief of Naval Staff retires after serving three years on the post or at the age of 62, whichever is earlier. Vice-Admiral Ram Dass Katari is the only Navy Chief who served on the post for 4 years and 43 days. 

Also Read | Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar took over as new Chief of Naval Staff: 11 key facts to know

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FAQ

Ques 3: Who was the first Indian to have served on the post of Chief of the Naval Staff of India?

Vice-Admiral Ram Dass Katari was the first Indian who served on the post of Chief of the Naval Staff of India.

Ques 2: Who is the longest-serving Chief of Naval Staff of India?

Vice-Admiral Ram Dass Katari is the only Navy Chief who served on the post for 4 years and 43 days.

Ques 1: Who is the Chief of Naval Staff of India 2021?

Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar took over as the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) on 30 November 2021. He succeeded Chief Admiral Karambir Singh who retired on 30 November 2021.

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