As India's new defence minister, Rajnath Singh's most crucial challenge will be to speed up the long-delayed modernisation of the Army, Navy and the Air Force besides ensuring overall coherence in their combat readiness. Another challenge will be to ensure peace along the frontier with China while developing required military infrastructure to deal with any possible Chinese hostility.
It is expected that Rajnath Singh, who takes charge of the ministry just three months after Balakot, will continue with the policy of hot pursuit in dealing with cross border terrorism.
Containing infiltration of terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan will be another key focus area.
As the Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh will face the challenge of strengthening the combat capabilities of the Army, Navy and the Air Force due to changing regional security matrix and geo-political dynamics.
The forces have been pressing for equipping them to deal with hybrid warfare and Singh will have to attend to this crucial demand.
The government has been focusing on domestic defence production and Rajnath Singh will have to carry forward a number of big-ticket reform initiatives, including implementing the ambitious "strategic partnership" model.
Under the new model, select Indian private firms will be roped in to build military platforms like submarines and fighter jets in India in partnership with foreign defence majors.
Rajnath Singh also faces the challenge of modernising the defence research organisations and various other defence public sector undertakings so that they can produce state-of-the art military hardware to match requirement of the forces. He is expected to focus on simplification of the acquisition process as majority of the military modernisation programmes are delayed due to administrative hurdles.
Rajnath Singh, who was Home Minister in the previous government, will also have to oversee carrying out of major reforms in the 12-lakh strong Army. The Army has already finalised a blueprint for its reform including right-sizing of the force.