New Navy Chief Calls for End to VIP Culture, More Equality

The guidelines focus on restricting certain ceremonial practices and ensuring equality among the ranks.

2 min read
Vice Admiral Karambir Singh will assume charge as the Chief of the Naval Staff. 

In his first order after taking charge on 31 May, newly-appointed Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh issued elaborate directives aimed at curbing subservient behaviour, restricting ceremonial practices and ensuring equality among the ranks.

According to a report in The Print, a total of 26 guidelines were issued including having same standards of food, drinks and cutlery by all ranks of Navy personnel at ‘quasi religious’ functions, a reduction in ‘unnecessary ostentation’ and discouraged women and children being lined up to greet dignitaries at naval events.

“As a modern fighting force, it is important that we imbibe contemporary, social and ceremonial practices towards optimal utilisation of manpower and resources,” the communication said.

Officials said the directives are being implemented with immediate effect.


‘Encouraged to be Disciplined but not Subservient’

"Juniors are encouraged to be disciplined and respectful but not subservient. Refreshment and meals to be simple and devoid of ostentation," read the communication.

It said full titles of senior officers should not to be used repeatedly in speeches and citing of decorations after name to be restricted only to formal correspondence and occasions. The use of multiple stand-by cars of Chief of Naval Staff was also discouraged.

It also said only senior sailors will be deputed for liaison duty and use of third person in addressing senior officers should be discouraged.

“Lighting of lamp/functions of quasi religious nature/fawning gestures, garlanding and showering flower petals, on guests, invitees, dignitaries to be avoided” were part of the instructions, reported The Print. The instructions also specified no red carpets or flower pots on ships.

Admiral Singh assumed charge as the 24th chief of the Indian Navy on May 31, becoming the first helicopter pilot to helm the force. He succeeded Admiral Sunil Lanba, who retired after a distinguished career spanning over four decades. Before appointed to the top post, he served as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (FOC-in-C) of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam.

(With inputs from The Economic Times and The Print)

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