Vice Admiral R B Pandit, Flag-Officer-Commanding, Western Fleet at Mumbai, on Monday took over as the Commandant of Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala in nearby Kannur district. He replaces Vice Admiral S V Bhokare who handed over responsibilities as the Commandant of the academy to Vice Admiral Pandit, after a successful tenure of over 15 months, an INA release said. Vice-Admiral Pandit is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasala, Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, the College of Naval Warfare, Mumbai and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.
He has specialised in Anti Submarine Warfare and has commanded INS Nirghat, INS Vindhyagiri, INS Jalashwa and the 22nd Missile Vessel Squadron at Mumbai. Pandit, who reached INA was promoted to the rank of Vice Admiral and took over as the sixth Commandant of the INA. Prior to this assignment, he had been the Naval Adviser at the High Commission of India at Islamabad, Pakistan. He had also held important staff assignments such as ACNS (Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence) at IHQ MoD (Navy) and Chief of Staff, Southern Naval Command. Bhokare, who leaves for Delhi to be posted at IHQ MoD (Navy), was accorded a warm send-off with the traditional “Pulling Out” ceremony, it said. During the tenure of Vice Admiral S V Bhokare, who took over as the Commandant on October 20, 2016, the INA saw a marked transformation in infrastructure and training facilities. It was during his tenure, INA also won the prestigious Bakshi Cup competition, held between all six major military academies including National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Military Academy (IMA), for the first time, the release added.