Former army chief VK Singh has been retained in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new Union Council of Ministers in his second term.
As Minister of State for External Affairs, General Singh led from the front in the challenging 2015 ''Operation Rahat'' in war-torn Yemen when 4,800 Indians and 1,972 people from other countries were evacuated.
In July 2016, he again led the exercise for evacuation of Indians from violence-hit South Sudan under ''Operation Sankat Mochan''.
He represented India at several bilateral and multilateral events as well as special assignments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean region and Europe.
General Singh, 68, retired as Army chief in 2012 after a long-drawn battle with the government over his age issue and joined the BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha election, which he successfully contested from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. He has retained the seat in this general election.
He briefly served as Minister for Development of North Eastern Region General (DONER) with independent charge in the first Modi government. General Singh had the experience of serving in the Northeast in different capacities as an Army officer too. He was also the GoC-in-C of the Eastern Command looking after the Easter and entire Northeaster region.
However, his 26-month tenure as the Army chief saw several controversies. He had staked claim to an additional year in office on the grounds that he was born in 1951 and not 1950, as stated in the Army's official records.
There was a major row over a secret military intelligence unit Technical Support Division which was reportedly accused of undertaking activities like snooping on defence ministry officials and attempt to destabilise Jammu and Kashmir government. General Singh had termed the allegations as "laughable".
The unit was set up during General V K Singh's tenure as army chief and wound up soon after his retirement.
In his autobiography "Courage and Conviction", General Singh has claimed that the then Home Minister P Chidambaram had not liked his opposition to the deployment of Army in the Maoist-affected areas.
A graduate of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, he had joined the US Army Rangers Course at Fort Benning, USA and US Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
General Singh was awarded Yudh Seva Medal (YSM) for operations as part of IPKF in Sri Lanka, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) for distinguished service while commanding a counter-insurgency force in 2005 and Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished services in the Eastern Theatre in 2009.
He became the Chief of Army Staff on March 31, 2010 and retired from the position on May 31, 2012.
On March 11, 2011, he 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.
General Singh, who is also the president of Indian Polo Association, plays tennis, golf and badminton and is also an ace horse rider.