General Bikram Singh, an infantry officer, on 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.