Former Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni passed away last week at the age of 86 whilst battling thyroid cancer. He passed away at the INHS Asvini naval hospital in Colaba.
Admiral Nadkarni served as the Chief of the Naval Staff from 1 December 1987 to 30 November 1990. Settled in Pune post-retirement, he was an avid maritime historian and a founding member of the Maritime History Society. In service, he was the most sought-after navigating officer for the navy’s premier warship at the time — the six-inch cruiser INS Delhi. On his watch as the chief, the Indian Navy inducted the first nuclear-propelled submarine, INS Chakra, on lease from the former USSR. During his tenure, India averted an armed mercenary coup d’état in the Maldives in 1988 (Operation Cactus), through military intervention, wherein all three services carried out a spectacular operation. Nadkarni’s actions during his time as chief restored his faith in the young captains and his signals at that time are still remembered for their courage and resolve. Admiral Nadkarni was also a recipient of the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Nausena Medal, and the Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service.
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed her condolences on the passing away of Admiral Nadkarni. She tweeted, “He participated in the Liberation of Goa and played a stellar role in the India-Pakistan War 1965 and in 1971.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office also tweeted his condolences: “Anguished by the demise of former Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral JG Nadkarni. He served the nation with utmost diligence and was passionate about maritime history. My thoughts are with his family and friends.” Admiral Nadkarni is survived by two sons including one who is a Rear Admiral in the Indian Navy.