Vijay Kumar Singh
|General Vijay Kumar Singh|
The Chief at a function in St. Paul's School, Darjeeling on November 2010
|Born||10 May 1951
Khadki Military Hospital, Pune, India
|Years of service||1970–2012|
|Commands held||Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the President of India
Colonel of The Rajput Regiment
Honorary Colonel of The Brigade of Guards
GOC-in-C Eastern Command
GOC Kharga Corps
GOC Rastriya Rifles Force
Commander Infantry Brigade
CO 2 Rajput (Kali Chindi)
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1971,
|Awards||Param Vishisht Seva Medal
Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
Yudh Seva Medal
General Vijay Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC (born 10 May 1951) is a retired Indian Army officer who served as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He was the first trained commando to be promoted general and was also the first serving Indian military chief to take the Government to court. He has written his own autobiography in the book titled "Courage and Conviction: An Autobiography".
Early life and education
Vijay Kumar Singh comes from Bapora village in Bhiwani district in the Indian state of Haryana. He is a third-generation officer. His father was a Colonel in the Indian Army and grandfather a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO). Singh was educated at Birla Public School, Pilani, Rajasthan.
He graduated from the Defence Services Staff College as an honours graduate of the United States Army Infantry School, a graduate of the Rangers Course at Fort Benning and the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In the US for the Rangers course, he came first in combat operations.
Singh is experienced in counter insurgency operations and high altitude operations. He has also seen action in the 1971 Bangladesh war. During his career he has served in various positions:
- Military Operations Directorate at the Army Headquarters.
- Brigadier General Staff of a Corps during 'Operation Parakram' when Indian troops were mobilised on the border in the wake of the attack on the Indian Parliament in 2001.
- Commanded Ambala-based 2 Corps and Jalandhar based 11 Corps in Punjab state.
- Instructor in the Indian Military Training Team (IMTRAT) headquarters in Bhutan.
He became Chief of Army Staff on 31 March 2010, and was the first commando to achieve that position. Towards the end of his career there was a dispute regarding the incumbent's date of birth and this cause Vijay Singh to become the first serving officer of the Indian Army to take the government to court. As a consequence of an error made when he had enrolled with the National Defence Academy in 1965, official records mis-stated the year in which he was born. He withdrew the writ in February 2012 when, according to The Hindu, the Supreme Court "refused to intervene". The Court noted that there was no dispute regarding his actual date of birth and that the matter being contested was regarding how that had been recorded. It ruled that Singh had on three occasions accepted the misrecorded date.
The BBC noted in 2012 that defence experts considered a drive to modernise the Indian army had suffered from "a lack of planning and acrimony between the military and the defence ministry". This report followed an interview given by Singh in March 2012 that had caused a political row. Singh said that over a year earlier he had reported to A. K. Antony. the defence minister, that he had been offered a bribe of US$2.7 million if the army bought several hundred sub-standard vehicles. Antony issued a rebuttal to the interview, saying that he had requested at the time that Singh provide a written report regarding the incident and that this had never been submitted. Two days after the interview with Singh, correspondence between the general and the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, was leaked. This criticised the standard of India's defences and caused a further political row.
Singh retired as Chief of Army Staff on 31 May 2012. He was succeeded by General Bikram Singh. Subsequent to his retirement, Singh showed support for the anti-corruption movement of which Anna Hazare is a figurehead. Amid speculations, Singh has ruled out any chances of joining BJP.
Honours and awards
On 11 March 2011, Singh was inducted into the United States Army War College (Class of 2001 graduate) International Fellows Hall of Fame. He is the 33rd International Fellow and the first Indian Armed Forces officer to be inducted.
- Param Vishisht Seva Medal
- Ati Vishisht Seva Medal
- Yudh Seva Medal for his distinguished service during Operation Pawan
- Ranger Tab
- "Gen. V.K. Singh to retire today". New Delhi: The Hindu. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Lt Gen V K Singh named next Army Chief". deccanherald.com. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Mohan, Raman (24 January 2010). "Bapoda village basks in Gen VK Singh’s glory". Chandigarh: The Tribune. Retrieved 2010-04-03.
- Dutta, Sujan (30 July 2011). "Generation shift in air force". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- "Gen VK Singh battles odds, becomes 26th army chief". DNA. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- "Gen. V.K. Singh is new Chief of the Army Staff". The Hindu. 1 April 2010. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Gokhale, Nitin A. (26 March 2012). "Details of who allegedly offered Rs. 14-crore bribe to Army chief". NDTV. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Venkatesan, J. (10 February 2012). "Army Chief loses age war". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-02-11.
- "India's corruption scandals". BBC.
- "Gen. V.K. Singh to retire today". The Hindu. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
- "V.K. Singh: throw the corrupt out of power". 4 August 2012.
- "V K Singh rules out joining BJP". Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "V. K. Singh: the veteran of wars who lost the age battle". Daily Bhaskar. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vijay Kumar Singh.|
- General V. K. Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC in the Indian Army official website
|Chief of Army Staff