Lieutenant General Manoj C Pande who has been appointed 29th Army Chief of Staff is from Nagpur and members of his family are associated with the armed forces while his university graduate father retired from Nagpur University and mother worked in the All Indian radio.
Lieutenant General Pande succeeds General MM Naravane, whose term of office ends on April 30.
He currently serves as Vice Chief of Staff and will become the first Commander of the Corps of Engineers to take charge of the 1.3 million-strong force, as the position has so far been occupied by officers from infantry, artillery and armored regiments.
Colonel Abhay Patwardhan (retd), who has met Lieutenant General Pande several times in Nagpur, told PTI on Monday that the latter has completed his initial training in the city and has many acquaintances in Nagpur.
He described Lieutenant General Pande, born May 6, 1962, as a “very capable officer” who has the potential to also become Chief of Defense Staff (CDS).
A senior journalist, who knows his family, said Lieutenant General Pande’s father, CG Pande, lives in Nagpur.
CG Pande was a counseling psychotherapist and retired as the head of the Department of (Psychology) of Nagpur University, while Lt. Gen. Pande’s mother, the late Prema, was a popular announcer and presenter on All India Radio, he said .
The youngest brother of Lieutenant General Pande, Sanket Pande, was also in the Indian Army and retired as a colonel. His other brother, Ketan Pande, and his wife live abroad, the reporter said.
Lieutenant General Pande’s wife Archana is a housewife, while son Akshay is an officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF), he added.