Sundararajan Padmanabhan

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Sundararajan Padmanabhan
General Padmanabhan.png
Nickname(s) Paddy
Born (1940-12-05)5 December 1940
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
Years of service 1959-2002
Rank General of the Indian Army.svg General
Unit Artillery Insignia.gif Regiment of Artillery
Commands held IA Southern Command.jpg Southern Army
IA Northern Command.jpg Northern Army
Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI)
XV Corps
Awards Param Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgParam Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgAti Vishisht Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgVishisht Seva Medal

General Sundararajan Padmanabhan PVSM, AVSM, VSM (born 5 December 1940 in Thiruvananthapuram, Travancore), is a former Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.[1] Gen. Padmanabhan succeeded General V.P. Malik on September 30, 2000.[1] He also served as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.[2]

Padmanabhan was schooled at the Rashtriya Indian Military College. In 1956, Padmanabhan joined the National Defence Academy and, in 1959 was enrolled into the Regiment of Artillery.[1]

He commanded an Infantry Brigade from December 1988 to February 1991 at Ranchi, Bihar and Punjab and was then appointed as the General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division in Punjab from March 1991 to August 1992. He served as Chief of Staff, III Corps from September 1992 to June 1993. After his promotion to Lieutenant General, he was Commander of the XV Corps in the Kashmir valley from July 1993 to February 1995. It was during his tenure as the XV Corps Commander, that the Army made big gains over the militants in Kashmir and could even scale down its operations. He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for his services as the XV Corps Commander.

General Padmanabhan held the appointment of Director General Military Intelligence (DGMI) after the successful culmination of which, he took over as the GOC-in-C of the Northern Command at Udhampur on 1 September 1996. Before being appointed as the Chief of Army Staff, he was the GOC-in-C of Southern Command. He retired on 31 December 2002, after completing more than 43 years of distinguished military service. He has authored two books. He presently resides in Chennai.[3]


Gen. Padmanabhan is also an author of Indian military fiction, including the 2004 novel Writing on the Wall, the plot of which involves India fighting a war simultaneously with Pakistan while improving relations with China.

Honours and awards[edit]

Military awards[edit]

IND Siachen Glacier Medal Ribbon.svg IND Raksha Medal Ribbon.svg
Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishist Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal
Siachen Glacier Medal
Special Service Medal
Raksha Medal
Sangram Medal
Operation Vijay Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
50th Anniversary of Independence Medal
25th Anniversary of Independence Medal
30 Years Long Service Medal
20 Years Long Service Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal


Military offices
Preceded by
Ved Prakash Malik
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Nirmal Chander Vij