A day after taking charge, Army Chief General Manoj Pande said his topmost priority would be ensuring high standards of operational preparedness to face the contemporary and future challenges across the entire spectrum of conflict.
“In terms of capability development and force modernisation, my effort will be to leverage new technologies through the process of indigenisation and Aatmanirbharta,” he said.
“I would like to focus on the ongoing reforms to enhance the Army’s operational and functional efficiency. The aim will be to boost inter-service cooperation,” the Army Chief added.
Speaking about him being the first Army Chief who comes from the Corps of Engineers, General Pande said: “All officers of the Indian Army from its different arms and services get an equal opportunity for career and professional growth. In senior leadership positions, all officers are trained and oriented on all aspects of war.”He added: “It’s a matter of pride for me that I have been asked to lead the Indian Army. It has a glorious past that maintained the securityand integrity of the nation. In the same way, it also contributed towards nation-building. The geopolitical situation is changing rapidly and we havemany challenges before us. My endeavour will be to take forward the work doneby my predecessors.”
General Pande is the 29th Army Chief. As an Army Commander, Gen Pande has served in two different theatres. He was chief of the Andaman &Nicobar Command, which is a tri-services command; he then headed the Kolkata-headquartered Eastern Command, before taking over as Vice Chief of the Army in February. It was during Gen Pande’s tenure as the Eastern Army Commander that 13 civilians were killed in a botched Army operation in Nagaland in early December. A Court of Inquiry was ordered by him, which has been completed but its findings have not been made public yet.