New Delhi: For the first time after assuming charge as the Army Chief, Gen Manoj Pande on Monday called on Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in South Block.
Gen Manoj Pande took over as the 29th chief of the Indian Army when Gen MM Naravane superannuated on Saturday after four decades of illustrious service.
It was a courtesy meeting in which the minister congratulated Gen Pande on assuming the charge and wished that Indian Army continues to do well under his command, sources said.
Later, the Army Chief also called on Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt.
After receiving the Guard of Honour on Sunday, Gen Pande said that the Indian Army will face every challenge that come its way together with the sister Services and also said that ensuring high standards of operational preparedness would be his foremost priority.
“The geopolitical situation in the world is changing rapidly posing several challenges before India. The Indian Army will face every challenge that come our way together with the sister Services. We are prepared for every serious situation. I will try to carry forward the good work of my predecessor,” he said.
He said that ensuring high standards of operational preparedness to face the challenges would be his foremost priority.
“My utmost and foremost priority would be to ensure very high standards of operational preparedness to face the current, contemporary and future challenges through the entire spectrum of conflict,” he said.
Secondly, in terms of capability development and force modernisation, my effort would be to leverage new technologies through the process of indigenization and aatmnirbharta, he added.
“It is a matter of pride and honour for me that I have handed over the leadership of the Indian Army. I accept it with full humility,” said Gen Pande.
He said that the welfare of the soldiers, ex- servicemen and veer naris would be my foremost priority.
Further, the General said, “The Indian Army has a glorious tradition and has contributed significantly in ensuring security and integrity of the country. The Army has also contributed to nation building. I would like to assure through you that Indian Army will be fully committed to the values of freedom, liberty and equality,”
IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar were also present at the Guard of Honour for Gen Manoj Pande. All the three Service Chiefs are from the 61st NDA course now.
“Three of us have trained together in our formative years. Not only that later as er grew in service, we have had occasions to work together. We are fortunate that once again to have got this opportunity and chance to work together,” Gen Pande said.
I have known the other two Service Chiefs very well, it’s a good beginning and good indication of synergy, cooperation and jointsmanship in the Services, he added.
Gen Pande was holding the position of Vice Chief of the Army so far. He is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to become the Army Chief. Earlier, he held the role of Eastern Army Commander and looked after India’s borders with China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.