Joginder Jaswant Singh Biography
General Joginder Jaswant Singh has served as the Governor of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh . A distinguished and decorated army officer, he has served as a military attache to Algeria and was appointed the 22nd Chief of the Army Staff.
He comes from a long lineage of army officers. He has served extensively in the northeastern state and other mountain states as an army officer, an experience which has molded his tenure as a Governor of the border sensitive Arunachal Pradesh.
Born on September 17, 1945 in Bahawalpur to Lieutenant Jaswant Singh Marwah and Rani Jaspal Kaur, General Singh hails from an army family; three generations of his family have served in the army, and grew up in army environs. His ancestors belonged to Village Marwah in Doda district spanning Kashmir and Punjab.
General Singh is an alumnus of the prestigious National Defense Academy (NDA) which he joined in 1961. He was commissioned into the Army and joined the 9th Maratha Light Infantry on August 2, 1964.
He is married to Mrs Anupama Singh. They have a son and a daughter. The General is fluent in French and Arabic, is a keen mountaineer, and an ace shooter. He has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal and decorated with the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal. He is the Honorary Colonel of the Maratha Light infantry and credited with drafting a new doctrine for the Indian Army while serving at the Army Training command, a think-tank of the Indian army, in 2002.
In 2007 he was awarded the ‘Sikh of the Year’ Award by the UK Sikh Forum and in 2009 he was awarded the ‘Punjabi Ratan Award’ by the World Punjabi Organisation. He is also the recipient of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Mother Teresa International Awards Committee.
Jaswant Singh had a distinguished army career spanning forty six years culminating in his reaching the pinnacle of army service as the Army Chief. During his career, he has attended the Staff College, Senior Command, Higher Command, and National Defense College courses for army officers.
After being commissioned into the army in 1964, he served in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim and Uttaranchal. He commanded 9th Maratha Light Infantry in Arunachal, and as Colonel, the5th Maratha Light Infantry at Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
In 1987, he was appointed India’s first defense attache to Algeria. After returning from Algeria in 1990, he was given the charge of commanding a brigade in the insurgency ridden Jammu and Kashmir state. He led from the front and served in the peak insurgency period from 1991 to 1992 in the state. In 1993 he received the Chief of the Army Staff’s Commendation and was nominated to attend the National Defense College course (NDC). After the course, he was posted as Deputy Director General Operational Logistics in the Army Headquarters. From 1996 to 1998, he commanded the 9th Infantry Division of the Indian army.
General Singh then was given a key appointment at Army Headquarters as the Additional Director General Military Operations (ADGMO). Here, he was active in evolving India’s policy on the border issue with China and Pakistan. After successfully coordinating army exercises in 2001, he led the Indian Army in the standoff against Pakistan in 2002, dubbed as Operation Parakram by the Army. In 2004, he became the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Command and then subsequently in 2005, the Chief of the Army Staff.
On retirement from the army he was appointed the Governor of the sensitive state of Arunachal Pradesh and sworn in on January 27, 2008. He was later succeeded by Lt Gen Nirbhay Sharma, who took office as the Governor of the state on 29th May 2013. The government of India had announced a development package for Arunachal Pradesh in 2007. The Governor as part of his duties and constitutional obligations monitors the outlay on infrastructural projects especially in road development, rail and air connectivity and power projects apart from overseeing the maintenance of law and order in the State.