Sunith Francis Rodrigues

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Sunith Francis Rodrigues

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues.jpg
Born (1933-09-19) 19 September 1933 (age 85)
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
(now Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
Allegiance India
Service/branch Indian Army
Years of service1952-1993
RankGeneral of the Indian Army.svg General
Service numberIC-6119[1]
UnitArtillery Insignia.gif Regiment of Artillery
Commands heldIA Western Command.jpg Western Army
IA Central Command.jpg Central Army
Director General Military Training (DGMT)
AwardsParam Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgParam Vishisht Seva Medal
Vishisht Seva Medal ribbon.svgVishisht Seva Medal

General Sunith Francis Rodrigues, PVSM, VSM (born 19 September 1933) is a retired Indian army officer who was Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army[2][3] from 1990 to 1993 and Governor of Punjab from 2004 to 2010. During his years as Governor of Punjab, he generally received a positive response from the Punjabi press and the Punjabi people accepted him as one of their own due to his strong campaigning for Punjabi interests in India.


Born in Bombay in 1933, he was educated at St. Xaviers High School in Bombay.

Military service[edit]

He joined the Joint Services Wing of the Indian Military Academy in 1949 and was commissioned on 28 December 1952 into the Regiment of Artillery.[1] After commanding several field and self-proppelled artillery units he applied of pilot training in the Air Observation Post of the Artillery in 1964 and qualified as an artillery aviation pilot. Between 1964 and 1969, he logged more than 158 flying hours on observation aircraft and helicopters, including 65 hours of combat flying during the 1965 war in which his unit logged on more than 56 precision artillery fire to effect on enemy formations. He attended the Defence Services Staff College and took over as GSOII operations in XXXIII Corps HQ in 1971. In 1972, after the war with Pakistan, he was awarded the VSM for distinguished service. He later served as a GSOI operations of a division from 1973 to 1975. He commanded a mountain infantry brigade in a high altitude sector from 1975 to 1977 then attended the 1978 course at Royal College of Defence Studies in the UK. He was Chief Instructor at Defence Services Staff College from 1979 to November 1981, then took over the command of a division in a high altitude area. In 1982, he was awarded the master's degree in Defence Studies, was the Chief of Staff of a Corps from 1983 to September 1985 then took over as Director General Military Training.

He was GOC of a corps in the Northern Sector in 1986. He was Vice Chief of Army Staff from November 1987 to April 1989 and then GOC-in-C of Central Command from April 1989 to October 1989. He then took over Western Command from 1 November 1989 to 30 June 1990 and was the Chief of Army Staff from 1990 to 1993. He retired on 30 June 1993 after nearly 41 years of service.

General Rodrigues was known among his compatriots as a thinker and a strategist.

Public service[edit]

After his retirement he was Director of the International Centre, Goa for nearly six years. He served two terms on the National Security Advisory Board. Since his retirement, he has been engaged in social and literary pursuits and has also delivered talks on strategic issues. He takes a keen interest in education and empowering children to achieve their potential. He was on the Executive Council of Goa University for seven years and on the Managing Committee of the Goa Chamber of Commerce. He is also a long-standing Member of the Goa Planning Board and on the Board of Governors of the Goa Institute of Management.

Governor of Punjab[edit]

He was appointed as Governor of Punjab and Administrator of the Union Territory of Chandigarh on 8 November 2004, and he was sworn into office on 16 November 2004.

He was succeeded by Shivraj Patil on 22 January 2010.[4]

Dates of rank[edit]

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
2nd Lieutenant Indian Army.gif Second Lieutenant Indian Army 28 December 1952[1]
Lieutenant of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant Indian Army 28 December 1954[5]
Captain of the Indian Army.svg Captain Indian Army 28 December 1958[6]
Major of the Indian Army.svg Major Indian Army 28 December 1965[7]
Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant-Colonel Indian Army 17 June 1973[8]
Colonel of the Indian Army.svg Colonel Indian Army 1975
Brigadier of the Indian Army.svg Brigadier Indian Army 2 September 1976[9]
Major General of the Indian Army.svg Major General Indian Army 8 April 1983[10]
Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg Lieutenant-General Indian Army 20 September 1985[11]
General of the Indian Army.svg General
Indian Army 30 June 1990


  1. ^ a b c "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 July 1953. p. 154.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Shiv Raj Patil is 33rd Governor of Punjab". Punjab Newsline Network. 22 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 26 February 1955. p. 45.
  6. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 9 May 1959. p. 109.
  7. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 19 March 1966. p. 175.
  8. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 10 August 1974. p. 905.
  9. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 1 April 1978. p. 295.
  10. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 14 July 1984. p. 1144.
  11. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 22 March 1986. p. 363.
Military offices
Preceded by
Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni
Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
1 December 1990 - 30 June 1993
Succeeded by
Laxminarayan Ramdas
Preceded by
Vishwa Nath Sharma
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Bipin Chandra Joshi
Preceded by
J K Puri
Vice Chief of Army Staff
1 November 1987 - 20 April 1989
Succeeded by
V K Sood
Preceded by
V K Nayak
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command
1 November 1989 - 30 June 1990
Succeeded by
G S Grewal
Preceded by
Sami Khan
General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Central Command
1 April 1989 - 30 October 1989
Succeeded by
F. N. Billimoria
Government offices
Preceded by
Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai
Governor of Punjab
Succeeded by
Shivraj Patil