News Brief

Government Extends Army Chief General Pande’s Tenure By One Month - Here's Why

Kuldeep Negi

May 28, 2024, 10:38 AM | Updated 10:38 AM IST

Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande.
Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande.

The government has extended the tenure of Army Chief General Manoj Pande by one month.

Initially scheduled to retire on 31 May, General Pande will now continue in his position until 30 June 2024.

This extension was approved by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet under Rule 16 A (4) of the Army Rules 1954.

General Pande was appointed Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on 30 April 2022.

His military career began in December 1982 when he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers).

Before becoming the COAS, he served as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff.

This extension is unusual and suggests that the decision on the next Army chief will be made by the forthcoming government.

Historically, such extensions are rare, with a notable example being the extension of General G G Bewoor's term in the 1970s.

As per standard practice, the most senior Army commander or the Army vice chief is typically appointed as the new Army chief upon the retirement of the serving COAS, Indian Express reported.

However, the government retains discretion in the final appointment.

Currently, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General Upendra Dwivedi and Southern Army Commander Lt General A K Singh are the most senior officers in the Army.

Lt General Dwivedi, from the 1984 batch, is senior to Lt General Singh.

The tenure of the Army chief is generally limited to three years or until the age of 62, whichever comes first.

General Pande, who turned 62 on 6 May, has served as the Army chief for over two years.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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