General Bikram Singh takes over as Army Chief

General VK Singh, who took over as the Army Chief on March 31, 2010 with an image of honest, firm and upright officer, will leave behind a legacy of controversies.

New Delhi: Gen Bikram Singh, an infantry officer, Thursday took over as the 27th Indian Army Chief from Gen VK Singh, who retired from service after a controversial 26 month tenure.

Bikram Singh, only the second Sikh to be elevated to the coveted top job, had to surmount many a hurdle, including a legal battle to deny him the opportunity to helm the world`s second largest Army. He was till now the Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander and will serve a 27 month tenure as Army Chief.

Commissioned in 1972 in the Sikh Light Infantry, Bikram Singh, 59, marks a generation shift in the Army, being the first chief who has not seen action in a conventional war. The last conventional war India fought was in 1971 against Pakistan to liberate Bangladesh.