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Rajnath Singh took charge as the Defence Minister or Raksha Mantri and immediately held a meeting with the top military officers. Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik, Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and top officials of the ministry accorded a warm welcome to Singh.

After taking charge, the new defence minister immediately held a meeting with the Army chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and newly appointed Navy chief Karambir Singh.

The defence secretary and several other senior officials of the ministry were also present at the meeting.

Hours before taking charge as Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh visited the National War Memorial in New Delhi. He paid tribute to soldiers who laid down their lives for the country post-independence. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh were also present at the memorial.

The national war memorial, located next to India Gate in the heart of the national capital, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 this year.

The state-of-art monument spread over an area of approximately 40 acres is dedicated to soldiers who laid down their lives defending the nation during Sino-Indian war in 1962, Indo-Pak wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971, Indian Peace Keeping Force Operations in Sri Lanka and in the Kargil Conflict in 1999.

The memorial also commemorates the soldiers who participated and made supreme sacrifice in UN Peace Keeping Missions, during HADR Operations, Counter Insurgency Operations and Low-Intensity Capital Operation (LICO).

Rajnath Singh took over the Defence Ministry from Nirmala Sitharaman who has been allotted the Finance Ministry in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new cabinet.

During the first term of the Modi government, Singh was in charge of the Home Ministry.

(With Inputs from agencies)

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