NEW DELHI — Gen. Bikram Singh became the new chief of the Indian Army succeeding the controversial Gen. V.K. Singh.
Bikram Singh, 59, takes charge of the Army’s 1.3 million troops at a time when relations between India’s civil and military establishments are at an ebb. His predecessor was vocal in his criticism of the Defence Ministry’s slow pace of weapons and equipment procurement, and had even made accusations of corruption in the procurement process.
One of Bikram Singh’s biggest challenges will be to raise the morale of the Army, which has taken a hit during the last two years following the running vocal battle between Gen. V.K. Singh and the Defence Ministry, an Army official said.
Another challenge before the new chief will be to strengthen the service’s combat abilities on the eastern front, as the perception of a threat from China has increased, the official said.
Bikram Singh, an infantry officer, was commander of the Army’s Eastern Command, which focuses on China.
The Indian Army proposes to raise about 30,000 new troops to be stationed along the eastern front near the India-China border.