ADMIRAL JAYANT GANPAT NADKARNI – A TRIBUTE
Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni was born on December 5, 1931 at Pune, Maharashtra. On completion of CadetsÕtraining at TS Dufferin at erstwhile Bombay he joined the Royal Indian Navy in March 1949.
He was deputed to United Kingdom (UK) to undergo basic training at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. On completion he was drafted on board the Training Cruiser HNS Devonshire and at other training establishments of the Royal Navy. During his initial training period itself he excelled in every aspect of naval training through sheer dint, hard work and determination and came to be recognized as a gifted Indian naval trainee.
When he was undergoing his initial training in UK that a Royal Navy Training Officer once called him, “Come here, you podgy little man!Ó From that time on ÒPodgyÓbecame his fond nickname.
His special acumen was soon recognised, and he was selected to undergo prestigious specialisation course in Navigation and Direction in UK. On his return to India he was the most sought-after Navigator. During Liberation of Goa operations, he was the Navigating Officer of Cruiser INS Delhi which was commanded by Captain N. Krishnan (later Vice Admiral).
As a Commander he commanded old INS Talwar during 1968 with such distinction that his ship handling skills, command, and operations capabilities are still viewed with great admiration and awe. As a Captain he commanded old INS Delhi during 1976. The ship was sent to oversee salvage of grounded Destroyer INS Godavari. That mission was called Operation Godavari Salvage (GODSAL). He was awarded Naosena Medal for his spectacular achievement.
While he was Flag Officer Commanding, Western Fleet his prime focus was operational readiness of the Fleet ships. He always encouraged his Captains to be bold and act with professional dint and pragmatism. As Chief Instructor (Navy) at Defence Services Staff College, Wellington he along with his core team revolutionalised the Staff Duties paradigms. As Chief of Personnel he single-handedly introduced and operationalised several unique and modern models for operational and strategic studies concepts. As the FOC-in-C, Eastern Naval Command he infused novel doctrines to revitalise the Command.
As the Vice Chief his contributions were noteworthy. Obtaining sanction for acquisition of Viraat from UK in double quick time, sanction for leasing of Chakra, the first nuclear submarine from former USSR, obtaining Govt. sanctions for Project Seabird, Naval Academy at Ezhimala, etc.
He assumed the helm of Indian Navy on December 1, 1987, as the 14th Chief of the Naval Staff. During his watch as CNS a spectacular feat was accomplished with perfection through military intervention by all three services and the Indian Naval Ship diverted to thwart the attempt by the mercenaryÕs coup in the Maldives during 1988. This singular intervention propelled the image of India as the emerging power and resultantly occupying the prime position on the cover of the Time magazine.
In his tribute to Late Admiral Nadkarni, Admiral Arun Prakash, former CNS said, ÒThis doughty Maratha Admiral, surely had the blood of Shivaji and Angre coursing through his veins; it showed in his principles, professionalism and a clear vision for the Indian Navy. Un-flamboyant and modest to a fault, he earned the NavyÕs genuine respect and affection.Ó
Admiral Jayant Nadkarni was the proud recipient of PVSM, AVSM, NM, VSM.
May his blessed soul rest in eternal peace.