Pande set to helm Army, Naravane likely to be CDS

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Gen Naravane is the front runner for the post of Chief of Defence Staff after the passing of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash December last year, reports Asian Lite News

Army Vice Lieutenant General Manoj Pande is all set to become Chief of the Army Staff with incumbent Army Chief General M.M. Naravane, seen as the frontrunner for the Chief of Defence Staff’s post, is due to retire by the end of this month.

Lt Gen Pande will take over the reign as he is the senior most in the force after General Naravane.

In the meantime, Gen Naravane is the front runner for the post of Chief of Defence Staff after the passing of General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash December last year.

General Rawat, his wife Madhulika and 12 armed personnel were killed in a chopper crash on December 8, 2021.

Lt Gen Pande became the senior most after a few top officers retired in last three months. The incumbent Lt Gen Raj Shukla who was commanding Army’s training command (ARTRAC) retired on March 31.

A few other senior most leaders had retired by January end. Lieutenant General C.P. Mohanty and Lt Gen Y.K. Joshi retired on January 31.

This March end, there were also rejing in the force. Lt Gen S.S. Mahal assumed command of ARTRAC at Shimla after Lt Gen Raj Shukla hung his boots.

Lt Gen C. Bansi Ponnappa took charge of Adjutant General of the Army. Lt Gen JP Mathews took over as the General Officer Commanding Uttar Bharat area.

Gen MM Naravane

Army chief on Singapore visit

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane is on three-day visit to Singapore to enhance military cooperation.

He has proceeded on Singapore visit from April 4 to April 6. During the visit, he will be meeting senior military and civilian leadership of the country.

On April 4, General Naravane will lay a wreath at the Kranji War Memorial.

The Army Chief is scheduled to call on the Minister of Defence, Chief of Singapore Army and other senior dignitaries where he will discuss avenues for enhancing India-Singapore defence relations.

He will also visit the Infantry Gunnery Tactical Simulation and Wargame Centre, Regional HADR Coordination Centre, Info Fusion Centre and the Changi Naval Base.

Last year in December, Gen Naravane went on a week-long visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, the first ever trip by an army chief to both West Asian states to significantly boost security ties.

Chair of Excellence in memory of Rawat

Last month, the Indian Army has dedicated a Chair of Excellence in memory of late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat at the United Service Institution of India (USI) on the eve of his 65th birthday.

The formal announcement was made by General M.M. Naravane, at a ceremony organised at the South Block on Tuesday.

Lieutenant General Manoj Pande, Vice Chief of the Air Staff Air Marshal Sandeep Singh, Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral S.N. Ghormade, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Air Marshal B.R. Krishna and Deputy Chiefs of the Army Staff Lt Gen S.K. Sharma also attended the event.

A cheque of Rs 5 lakh was handed over to Maj Gen B.K. Sharma (retd), Director, USI which will be paid as honourarium to the nominated Chair of Excellence.

Late General Bipin Rawat who served as India’s first CDS as well as the 27th Chief of Indian Army was an outstanding professional and was in the midst of steering one of the most radical transformations of the Indian military.

Gen Rawat Memorial Chair of Excellence will focus on the field of Jointness and Integration.

The Chair of Excellence is a befitting tribute to the astute leadership and professionalism of the General.

On the occasion, the Army Chief recounted that General Rawat was passionate about strategic thoughts and invested considerable time and energy in the activities of various Think Tanks and therefore, his 65th birthday provided an opportune moment to reinforce the Services’ bond with their intellectual institutions.

The Chair will be open to Veterans of three Services and civilians having expertise in the field of National Security.

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