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India Lt Gen Bikram Singh Designated Next Indian Army Chief


Aug 17, 2010
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</td> <td class="middsubtext1" align="justify" valign="top" width="584"> New Delhi. Lt Gen Bikram Singh will be the next Indian Army Chief, it was announced Mar 3.
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</td> <td class="middsubtext2" valign="top" width="584"> "Lt Gen Bikram Singh has been designated as the next Chief of Army Staff in the rank of General, with effect from the afternoon of May 31, 2012," an official statement said.

The current incumbent, Gen V K Singh, is due to retire that day.

Lt Gen Bikram Singh, who heads the Army's Eastern Command, will be the senior-most three-star officer then.

Barring one exception, the Indian Government has always appointed the senior-most among the Lieutenant General as the Chief of the Army Staff, and this appointment would have come to him in the normal, due course.

Asked for his reaction, he said in a brief statement that he was "honoured and grateful to the government for having reposed confidence in me and having appointed me as the next Chief of the Army Staff."

Lt Gen Bikram Singh, 59, will have a tenure of more than two years as the retirement age for a Chief of Staff of the Indian Army, Navy, or Air Force is 62, but with a minimum of two years.

The General was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment on 31 March, 1972 after finishing his course in the National Defence Academy and the Indian Military Academy. He is the first officer to reach the top after joining the Army post-1971 Bangladesh War.

But he was in the Army’s Directorate General of Military Operations (DGMO) as a Colonel during the 1999 Kargil War to evict the Pakistanis from snowy heights they had occpied in Kashmir. He was also the Army’s spokesman then to brief the national and international media on the daily progress of the battle.

Lt Gen Singh has all the peace time and war time decorations that a top officer can have in a career of around 40 years. He is also an honorary ADC to the President of India in her capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. His decorations are: PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM,VSM, ADC (or Param Vishisht Sewa Medal, Uttam Yudh Sewa Model, Ati Vishsht Sewa Medal, Sena Medal, Vishisht Sewa Medal, and Aide de Camp).

During his long and distinguished career, he has served in a variety of Command and Staff appointments. He has commanded a Corps in the Northern Command.

The General served as Deputy Force Commander of a multi-nation UN Peace Keeping Mission in Congo. He had also served as UN Observer in Nicaragua and El Salvador during the early 1990s.

Lt Gen Bikram Singh has studied with distinction at the Defence Services Staff College, the Army War College and the US Army War College, Pennsylvania. He has also done M. Phil. in Defence Management from the Indore University.

He is married to Mrs Surjeet Kaur, housewife, and the couple have two sons. One of the sons is married to a US citizen of Afghan and Central Asian origin.

Notably, the intelligence agencies have given due clearance to his daughter in law after attempts were made to have his nomination cancelled over one allegation or another.
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