Saturday, February 4, 2023

Indian Army chief visits Army college in Nepal; meets students

Indian Army chief General Manoj Pande visited the Army Command and Staff College here on Tuesday and interacted with the staff and students of the prestigious institution. Gen. Pande arrived here on Sunday on a five-day official visit during which he will hold extensive talks with the country’s top civil and military leadership and bolster defence ties between the two neighbouring countries. “General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, visited the Army Command & Staff College, Shivapuri, and interacted with the staff and students,” the Indian embassy in Nepal said in a tweet.
Nepal’s President Bidya Devi Bhandari conferred the title of Honorary General of the Nepali Army to Gen Pande at a special ceremony here on Monday. Gen Pande was also presented a sword and scroll during the ceremony held at the President’s official residence ‘Shital Niwas’ in Kathmandu.
“In honour of General Manoj Pande, General Prabhu Ram Sharma and Mrs Sunita Sharma hosted a banquet at Nepali Army HQs,” the Nepali Army tweeted. Gen Pande, who took charge as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff on April 30 after Gen MM Naravane retired from service, will call on Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday, apart from meeting with the senior military and civilian leaders of the Himalayan nation.
The issue of induction of Gorkhas from Nepal into the Indian Army under the Agnipath scheme is also likely to figure in Gen Pande’s talks in Kathmandu, which reportedly conveyed to New Delhi that the recruitment under the new scheme does not conform to existing provisions for it.
Gen Pande will leave Kathmandu for New Delhi on September 8.
The Nepali Army believes the exchange of such high-level visits and continuation of tradition helps in strengthening relations between the two militaries and the two countries,” said a press release issued by Nepal Army on Sunday.
Archana Pande, the chairperson of the Army Wives Welfare Association of the Indian army, is accompanying Gen Pande. Nepal is important for India in the context of its overall strategic interests in the region, and the leaders of the two countries have often noted the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
The country shares a border of over 1,850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Land-locked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transportation of goods and services.

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