Gen. Manoj Pande COAS, Receives Honorary Title from Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari

The Nepali Army receives non-lethal equipment from the Indian COAS.
The Nepali Army receives non-lethal equipment from the Indian COAS.

Gen. Manoj Pande, the head of the Indian Army’s army staff, was given the Honorary Rank of General of the Nepal Army by Nepal’s president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, on Monday.

During a formal ceremony in Kathmandu, the President at Bhandari’s official residence, Shital Niwas, bestowed the honorary rank, continuing a long tradition of visits between the army chiefs of India and Nepal and bestowing the title of honorary General on both.

The custom first appeared in 1950. The Nepal Army Chief is also given the honorary status of “General of Indian Army” by India.

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Gen. Pande arrived here on Sunday for a five-day official visit. During this time, he will meet with the nation’s top civil and military officials and strengthen defense cooperation between the two neighbors.

On Monday, the Guard of Honor was presented to the commander of the Indian Army as well.

The Nepal Army tweeted that General Prabhu Ram Sharma, Chief of the Army Staff, received a number of non-lethal military equipment from General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army.

According to Nepal Army headquarters sources, Gen. Pande delivered non-lethal equipment and supplies, including four horses, ten MPVs (mine protective vehicles), and some medical equipment. Gen. Pande also held a bilateral discussion with Gen. Prabhu Ram Sharma at the Army Headquarters.

The overall assistance provided is equal to 223.8 million NRs (USD 17,51,821.36).

According to Nepal Army sources, this is a unique subsidy given by the Indian Army that comprises 60% grant support.

Another tweet from the Nepali Army read, “General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army pays honor to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Martyr’s Memorial in the Army Pavilion.”

Along with meeting with senior military and civilian authorities of the Himalayan nation, Gen. Pande, who took over as the 29th Chief of the Army Staff on April 30 after Gen. MM Naravane retired from duty, will pay a visit to Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday.

Gen. Pande’s discussions in Kathmandu are likely to include the subject of the induction of Gorkhas from Nepal into the Indian Army under the Agnipath scheme, since New Delhi was allegedly informed that the recruitment under the new scheme does not adhere to the existing rules for it.

On September 8, Gen. Pande will fly from Kathmandu to New Delhi.

According to a news release published by the Nepali Army on Sunday, the exchange of such high-level visits and the upholding of tradition help to build ties between the two forces and the two countries.

Gen. Pande is accompanied by Archana Pande, chair of the Indian Army’s Army Wives Welfare Association.

In the framework of its wider strategic interests in the area, India values Nepal, and the leaders of the two nations have frequently referred to their historic “Roti Beti” relationship.

With five Indian states — Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand — the nation has a border of more than 1,850 kilometers. India is a major source of transportation for Nepal, a landlocked country.