With Lt Gen Manoj Pande's elevation, all 3 chiefs to be from 61st NDA batch


The appointment of Lt General Manoj C Pande as the new Chief of Army Staff is set to bring a happy coincidence to the Indian armed forces after a long time. With his elevation, all three of the chiefs of the Indian armed forces will be from the same NDA batch.

The three service chiefs of the Indian armed forces will be from the 61st batch of the National Defense Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla, after the Army chief -designate Lt Gen Manoj C Pande takes over as the 29th Chief of Army Staff on April 30.

Navy Chief Admiral Hari Kumar and Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari are also from the same NDA course, defence officials said. While Lt Gen Pande is from the Lima squadron, the two other chiefs are from the Juliet squadron of NDA.

Officials said the three chiefs being course-mates would help in further improving the jointness among the three services and it would be of great importance when the three services are working towards the creation of integrated theatre commands.

This is not the first time that a coincidence like this is happening in the Indian armed forces. Around 2 years ago, Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, and Army Chief Manoj Naravane, who were the serving chiefs, were also NDA batchmates.

Indian Army Vice Chief Lieutenant General Manoj Pande was appointed as the next Army Chief by the Centre on Monday. As the 29th Army Chief of India, Lt Gen Pande will take over the important post on May 1.

The news of the next Army Chief's appointment comes at a time when India is also looking for its new Chief of Defense Staff. The top post has been vacant since the tragic demise of the country's first CDS Gen Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash last December.

(With inputs from agencies)


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