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Govt extends Army chief Gen. Pande’s tenure by a month

General Pande, who was to retire from service on 31 May, will now serve till 30 June

Govt extends Army chief Gen. Pande’s tenure by a month
[Source photo: X]

Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande’s tenure has been extended by one month, the government said. 

Gen. Pande, who assumed charge as chief of army staff (COAS) on 30 April 2022, was to retire on 31 May.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved the extension in service for a period of one month, beyond his normal age of superannuation under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules 1954, the ministry of defence said in a statement.

Pande was commissioned in December 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers). He is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to helm the force.

He was vice-chief of army staff before taking over as COAS following Gen. MM Naravane’s retirement. 

He has served as commander-in-chief of the Andaman and Nicobar Command, India’s only tri-services command.

Next army chief

Lt Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, the current vice-chief of army staff is the senior-most official after Gen. Pande. 

However, the government may not go with the seniority rule to appoint the next army chief, a Press Trust of India report said, citing officials aware of the discussions.

In that case, Lt Gen Ajay Kumar Singh, the southern army commander, will be in contention, the PTI report said. 

Central army commander Lt Gen. N.S. Raja Subramani, who is junior to Dwivedi and Singh, is another contender, the report added. 

Both Dwivedi and Singh are set to retire on 30 June, the new date of retirement for Gen Pande. 

However, their dates of retirement will not be a hindrance if the government decides to appoint either of them.

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