General Manoj Pande is new army chief, succeeds General MM Naravane
Manoj Pande was previously the army's vice chief - appointed in February to replace the retiring Lt Gen CP Mohanty.
General Manoj Pande on Saturday took charge as India's new Chief of Army Staff, succeeding General MM Naravane in the role. Pande was previously the army's vice chief - a position he assumed in February when he replaced Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, who retired after serving his term.
He becomes the first officer from the Corps of Engineers, also known as 'sappers', to hold the top position in the Indian Army. Officers from the 'sappers' have served as commanders and vice chiefs, but never as army chief.
Born May 6, 1962, he will be the 29th army chief for over two years. Service chiefs have a three-year term or serve till they turn 62, whichever is earlier.
Who is General Manoj Pande, India's new army chief?
He will take the reigns of one of the largest armies in the world at a time when India faces multiple challenges on its borders, including the persistent stand-off with China, and is working to optimise resources and contributions by the three services - Army, Air Force and Navy - to fight future wars and operations.
His appointment also comes as the Narendra Modi government works on indigenisation of military hardware - a subject that will prove particularly challenging now given the ongoing fallout of Russia's war on Ukraine.
India’s military preparedness is firmly in the crosshairs in this case as two-thirds of the country’s military equipment is of Soviet or Russian-origin.
4 things India's new Army chief, Gen Manoj Pande, is likely to focus on
Lieutenant General BS Raju will take over as the next army vice chief on May 1.
A qualified helicopter pilot, Lt General Raju is currently the army’s director general of military operations (DGMO) and, in that capacity, was monitoring the border standoff with China in the sensitive Ladakh sector.
Lieutenant General Raju to take over as army vice chief
Lieutenant General Manoj Katiyar will replace Raju as the army’s next DGMO.
Earlier today the Army tweeted photographs of General Naravane's last day in office; he was seen paying his respects at the National War Memorial and receiving a guard of honour on the lawns of Delhi's South Block.
The general and his wife, Veena Naravane, also called on President Ram Nath Kovind and his wife, Savita Kovind, at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi.
“Wonderful meeting with Army Chief, Gen MM Naravane, who's retiring today after serving the nation for 42 yrs. His contributions as a military leader has strengthened India’s defence capabilities and preparedness. I wish him success in his future endeavours,” defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted.