New Delhi, April 1 : A day after assuming charge as the Indian Army chief, Gen V.K. Singh Thursday said his focus would be on "core values" to improve the "internal health" of the force to enable it meet external challenges.

"Till the time our internal health is not up to the mark, we won't be able to take good care of external challenges," Singh told reporters after inspecting a guard of honour on his first day in office.

"Internal health is very important. And for any organisation to do well, it must ensure that the internal health is good. That's why our core values, our ethos and our traditions will receive due attention," Singh maintained.

His remarks assume importance in view of the stringent action he had recommended, in his previous appointment as head of the army's Eastern Command, in what is known as the Sukna land scam case.

Singh had recommended that two lieutenant generals, Avdesh Prakash and P.K. Rath, be court martialled for their role in the illegal transfer of land at Sukna cantonment in West Bengal to a private developer.

Singh's predecessor as army chief, Gen. Deepak Kapoor, had concurred with the recommendation on Rath but reduced the punishment on Prakash to administrative action. This decision was reversed after Defence Minister apparently put his foot down and said that Prakash too should be court martialled.

Asked about the threat perception from China, Singh said: "I can assure (that) for any challenges against us we are fully prepared. Preparedness is (an) ongoing process... we are making our training more practical."

A third generation army officer, Singh, 59, will serve till he turns 62.

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