Vice Admiral Lochan Singh Pathania officially assumed the charge as the Chief Hydrographer to the Government of India on February 1, 2024. Commissioned in the Executive branch of the Indian Navy in 1990, Vice Admiral Pathania brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in hydrography.
Naval Career and Specialization
Vice Admiral Pathania, a Hydrography Specialist, has had a distinguished career in the Indian Navy spanning over three decades. His commissioned service began in 1990, and he has held various key positions within the Navy. Notably, he has commanded IN Ships Darshak and Sandhayak, showcasing his leadership skills in the operational domain.
Hydrographic Surveys and Notable Contributions
One of the highlights of Vice Admiral Pathania’s career is his extensive involvement in hydrographic surveys. He has conducted surveys across the entire coastline of India and in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). His work includes the challenging task of data collection for International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) arbitration and the production of new charts in the Sundarbans delta. This demonstrates his commitment to ensuring accurate and up-to-date nautical charts for safe navigation.
Vice Admiral Pathania’s expertise extends beyond Indian waters, as he had the distinction of serving onboard HMS Bulldog of the Royal Navy. This international exposure has enriched his understanding of global maritime practices and standards.
Key Shore Appointments
Throughout his career, Vice Admiral Pathania has held crucial shore appointments, reflecting his versatility and leadership acumen. He has served as an Interviewing Officer & Deputy President of the Naval Selection Board, Principal Director (Hydrography) at Naval Headquarters (NHQ), Officer-in-Charge of the National Hydrographic Office (NHO), and Joint Chief Hydrographer. These appointments underscore his administrative and strategic capabilities.
Vice Admiral Lochan Singh Pathania is a graduate of the Naval Academy and an alumnus of the International Maritime Academy (IMO), Trieste, Italy, Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, and College of Defence Management (CDM), Secunderabad. His academic qualifications include a master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras and a Master of Management Studies (MMS) from Osmania University.
Expertise in Maritime Laws
Known for his expertise in international maritime laws, especially those related to maritime boundary delimitation, Vice Admiral Pathania has played a crucial role in addressing issues pertaining to maritime boundaries and the settlement of the Extended Continental Shelf beyond the Exclusive Economic Zone. His contributions in this field have been recognized for fostering cooperation and adherence to established norms in the maritime domain.
Vice Admiral Lochan Singh Pathania’s assumption of the role of Chief Hydrographer signifies a new chapter in India’s commitment to ensuring maritime safety, navigation, and adherence to international maritime norms. His leadership is expected to further strengthen the hydrographic capabilities of the country, contributing to safer and more efficient maritime operations in the region and beyond.