Soldier scholar ventures publishing


After 38 years of service in uniform, major general Ravi Arora took to the business in which his family has excelled for the last 75 years. While his grandfather Lala Narain Das started book selling and publishing business in India under the style of ‘English Book Depot’ in Ferozepore Cantt, his father Sohan Lall Arora was the founder editor of Current Events magazine and also established Natraj Publishers in 1965. Arora launched Indian Military Review (IMR), a monthly magazine on national defence, homeland security, modernization and military technology in January 2010, which has completed one successful year associating well known veterans of the armed forces in the editorial board, including air marshal Bharat Kumar, former AOC-in-C Southern Air Command, major general GD Bakshi, major general DK Mehta and Cmde (IN) Rajiv Sawhney. The magazine is also set to enter the field of organizing conferences and seminars on defence and security catering to the armed forces and homeland security segment.

Arora has also taken over as editor of Indian Defence Yearbook, which has been published every year for the last fourteen years, and is the author of ‘Customs & Etiquette in the Services’, besides coffee table books on the Defence Services Staff College, 33 Corps and Nabha Akal Battalion of the Indian Army. He is also working on two books on the history of the Indian Army titled ‘The Fighting Spirit: An Illustrated Account of the Indian Army’s Operations in the Twentieth Century’ and ‘The Fighting Formations of the Indian Army’.

Major general Arora is considered a soldier scholar having stood first in the order of merit in the Indian Military Academy on commissioning into the Army, for which he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal. He was selected through competitive examination to attend a year-long course on Command & Staff in UK and went on to do triple Masters in Defence Studies, Management and Public Administration.

Before he took voluntary retirement to start IMR magazine and give back to the services his time and effort towards healthy debate on defence matters, Ravi commanded 12 Infantry Division in Rajasthan, India’s only amphibious brigade in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and was head of the Red Forces Branch of the Army Training Command, Shimla.

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