Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande granted unusual one-month service extension

The successor of Gen Pande is yet to be announced, which in a normal practice is named a few weeks ahead of the appointment of the next Chief of Service.
Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande
Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Chief of the Indian Army, General Manoj Pande, has been granted a one-month extension in his service, which is considered an unusual move.

The Ministry of Defence on Sunday confirmed, "The Appointments Committee of Cabinet, on May 26, 2024, approved the extension in service of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj C Pande, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC for a period of one month, beyond his normal age of superannuation (May 31, 2024), i.e. up to June 30, 2024, under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules 1954."

General Pande was appointed as the COAS on April 30, 2022. He was commissioned in December 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers). He held the appointment of Vice Chief of the Army Staff before taking over as the COAS.

The successor of Gen Pande is yet to be announced, which in a normal practice is named a few weeks ahead of the appointment of the next Chief of Service.

There is only once in the history of Indian Army when in 1975 the then Army Chief Gen G.G. Bewoor was given a one year extension by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi-led Government. Due to the extension the next in line as per seniority Lt Gen Prem Bhagat retired from service.

Gen Bewoor served as Chief from January 16, 1973, to May 31, 1975 and was succeeded by Gen T. N. Raina The Armed Forces have mostly followed the seniority principle: the senior-most Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) is made the COAS from the list of the three Lt Gens forwarded to the government by the Service.

It is the prerogative of the government to select and appoint the Army Chief and other services heads.

Both Lt Gen Dwivwdi and Lt Gen AK Singh are coursemates.

Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi, the current Vice Chiwf of Srmy Staff, is said to be the next in line to pick up as the Army Chief as he is senior as per the Indian Commission (IC) number. Though he was commissioned into 18 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles (JAKRIF) in December 1984 along with Lt Gen Singh, the senior most after him. He was commissioned into 7/11 Gorkha Rifles in December 1984.

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