Admiral Dhowan, 59, who has been the acting Navy chief since Joshi's exit, has been appointed the Chief of Navy Staff superseding Western Naval Commander Shekhar Sinha.

He will have a tenure of 25 months, retiring in May 2016. Dhowan, who is the 22nd Navy chief, has taken over the reins of the force at a time when it is grappling with mishaps involving its warships and other assets.

Admiral Dhowan was commissioned in the Indian Navy on January 1, 1975. He is a Navigation and Direction specialist who has served with distinction in an array of Command, Staff and Instructional appointments through his exemplary career spanning 40 years. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA.
Admiral Dhowan has commanded frontline warships INS Khukri, INS Ranjit, INS Delhi and served as Chief Staff Officer (Operations) Headquarters Western Naval Command. He has also served as Indian Naval Adviser at the High Commission of India, London.

He has commanded the Eastern Fleet as Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet and served as Chief of Staff at Headquarters Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam. He also has the distinction of commanding the prestigious ‘National Defence Academy’, his alma mater as the Commandant.
The important staff appointments held by the Admiral at Naval Headquarters are Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Policy and plans), Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Chief of Naval Staff.

Admiral Dhowan, who would have otherwise retired on May 31, will now serve for an additional two years.

The top post was lying vacant for nearly two months since incumbent DK Joshi quit suddenly following a spate of accidents involving frontline warships. He was the acting Navy Chief since Admiral Joshi’s exit.

Admiral Joshi, who had 15 months left in service, resigned on February 26 in the wake of a mishap involving submarine INS Sindhuratna in which two Navy officers lost their lives and several others were left injured.

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