New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the prestigious Param Vishisht Seva Medal(PVSM) to Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande at the Defence Investiture Ceremony 2022 held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday. Constituted in 1960, the Param Vishisht Seva Medal is awarded in recognition to peace-time service of the most exceptional order and may have also been awarded this honour posthumously.

All ranks of the Indian Armed Forces including Territorial Army, Auxiliary and Reserve Forces, Nursing officers and other members of the Nursing services and other lawfully constituted Armed Forces are eligible for this award.

Gen Manoj Pande took over as the 29th COAS of the Indian Army on April 30 upon superannuation of Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane. Gen Pande was holding the position of Vice Chief of the Army till then. He is the first officer from the Corps of Engineers to become the Army Chief. Before designated as COAS, he held the role of Eastern Army Commander and looked after India’s borders with China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. Gen Pande is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy(NDA) and he was commissioned in December 1982 in the Corps of Engineers (The Bombay Sappers). The new Army Chief has commanded 117 Engineer Regiment during Operation Parakram in the sensitive Pallanwala Sector of Jammu and Kashmir, along the Line of Control(LoC).

Besides, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande, Retd Lt Gen KJS Dhillon also received the Param Vishisht Seva Medal from President Kovind at the ceremony today. The President conferred a total of 14 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 4 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 24 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals for distinguished service of exceptional order. In addition, the President conferred 13 Shaurya Chakras, including six posthumously during the ceremony. Ashutosh Kumar (18 Madras), Nb Subedar Sreejith M (17 Madras) Havildar Anil Tomar (44 RR), Pinku Kumar (34 RR), Kashiray Bammanalli (44 RR) and Sepoy M Jaswanth Kumar Reddy (17 Madras) were awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) by the President for their acts of exemplary courage and bravery.