New Delhi, Aug 31 (Agency)
Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi, an anti-submarine warfare specialist, Friday took over as the new Indian Navy chief.
He succeeds Admiral Nirmal Verma, who retired from service after 43 years of service.
Admiral Joshi, who was till Thursday the Mumbai-based Western Naval Commander, is the 21st navy chief of Independent India and the 19th Indian to take command of the world's sixth largest naval force.
In the morning, Admiral Joshi paid tribute to the country's martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in India Gate and inspected an impressive Guard of Honour at the lawns of South Block, the seat of the naval headquarters on Raisina Hill.
Later, in the office of the navy chief, Admiral Verma ceremonially handed over the chief's telescope to Admiral Joshi to mark the handing over of office from the incumbent to the successor.
In his maiden message to the navy, Admiral Joshi indicated his priorities as the new chief.
"For the navy to fulfil its mandate as a maritime power for national prosperity, 24x7 attention would need to be paid at all levels to ensure that there are no gaps in our security preparedness," Joshi said.
He emphasised: "To achieve security related objectives, the man-machine interface is crucial and the navy would need to professionally re-audit, train and consolidate its preparedness to optimise the existing capabilities as well as harness the full potential of the transformational new capabilities being inducted."
In his 38-year service till now, Admiral Joshi has commanded guided missile corvette INS Kuthar, guided missile destroyer INS Ranvir and India's lone aircraft carrier INS Viraat.
He has also been awarded the Nausena Medal, Vishist Seva Medal and Yudh Seva Medal, respectively, while commanding these warships.
Subsequently, he commanded the Eastern Fleet, when Ati Vishist Seva Medal was awarded to him.
Admiral Joshi has also commanded the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the only tri-service integrated formation of the country and was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal during this time.
Later, he served as the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).
Admiral Joshi is a graduate of the US Naval War College, an alumnus of the Mumbai-based College of Naval Warfare and the capital-based National Defence College.
He was also the defence advisor in the Indian high commission in Singapore from 1996 to 1999.
He is married to Chitra Joshi and the couple have two daughters.