General VK Singh's age controversy: Army contradicts ministry

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General VK Singh's age controversy: Army contradicts ministry
New Delhi:  The controversy over Army chief General VK Singh's age has deepened with the Defense Ministry and the Indian Army holding on to their positions.

General Singh has consistently maintained that he was born in 1951 as against 1950 as maintained by the Ministry of Defense. Army records however reflect both dates. General Singh has also filed a formal complaint with the ministry saying that while the government can decide his tenure as chief of Army, his year of birth cannot be changed.   

The biggest implication of this is the year in which the Army chief will retire - 2012, according to the government's decision. If it had accepted General Singh's date of birth, his tenure would have extended to 2013.

Earlier this month, Defence Minister A K Antony had told the Rajya Sabha, "The date of birth of General VK Singh, Chief of Army Staff, has been maintained as 10th May 1950 at the time of his selection as Corps Commander (Lieutenant General) in 2006 as well as his subsequent promotions as Army Commander in 2008 and Chief of the Army Staff in 2010"

But the Military Secretary's branch in the Army Headquarters, that handles promotions and transfers, has contradicted the ministry. Military Secretary Lieutenant General GM Nair has informed the ministry that General VK Singh's promotion from the rank of a Brigadier in 1996 to that of a Lieutenant General in 2005 had May 10, 1951 as the date of birth.



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