Delhi: General Manoj Pande takes over as the new Army Chief
New Delhi : General Manoj Pande on Saturday took over as the 29th Chief of the Indian Army Staff. General Pande, who served as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, has become the first officer from the force’s Engineer Corps to become the Chief of Army Staff. He was heading the Eastern Command of the Army before becoming the Vice Chief of the Army Staff on February 1. This command is responsible for guarding the Line of Actual Control in the Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh sectors. General Pande has commanded the Army at a time when India is facing innumerable security challenges including challenges along its borders with China and Pakistan. As the Army Chief, he would have to coordinate with the Navy and Air Force on the government’s plan to create a theater command. India’s first Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat was working on preparing the theater command, who died in a helicopter crash in December last year. The government is yet to appoint a new chief defense chief. Lt. Gen Pande has also served as the Chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command during his career. Andaman and Nicobar Command is the only command of the three armies in India. Pande is an alumnus of the National Defense Academy and was inducted into the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers) in December 1982. In his illustrious career, he held several important positions and participated in counter-terrorist operations in various areas. He commanded an engineer regiment along the Line of Control during Operation Parakram in Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, he commanded a mountain division in the highlands of western Ladakh and a corps in the northeast.