Away from the media glare, Army chief General Bikram Singh was on Monday handed over the baton of Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) by Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, who is due to retire on Tuesday.

Air Chief Marshal Browne had taken over as the Chairman of COSC on September 1, 2012 on becoming the eldest of all the three Service chiefs. Earlier, he was a member of the Committee since August 1, 2011.

During his stint as Chairman COSC, all the three Service chiefs had agreed to have a permanent chairman of the COSC in the interim even as having a Chief of Defence Staff remained the final goal of the three Services.

It was in Mr. Browne’s term as Air Chief that that the three new tri-service commands — space, cyber and special operations — were conceptualised and shaped. He also saw the induction of the indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft — Tejas — into the Indian Air Force.

For General B.K. Singh, who would now head the three services, the main challenge would be the successful induction and integration of the large number of weapon systems that India is either manufacturing or procuring at present.

General Singh, who was commissioned into The Sikh Light Infantry in March 1972, has in his military career spanning over 40 years, commanded an Infantry Battalion in the North East and on the Line of Control in J&K, a RR Sector and an Infantry Division in Northern Command. He has commanded 15 Corps and Eastern Command and also served in three U.N. Peace Keeping Missions.

While earlier, the practice was that the new COSC on taking over interacted with the media, the taking over of General Bikram Singh marked a departure from the past.

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