A test of the army ‘microbial warfare’ programme is underway, with its chief, Gen (retd) Rajiv Kumar, giving a speech in Delhi, a day after he was given the order to conduct the tests.

The chief, who is in charge of all operations, is expected to address the nation on the tests later this month, a senior officer privy to the development said.

The army has been conducting tests on bacteria, fungi and protozoa for the past few years.

The tests have been conducted under the orders of the chief of the Army Staff (CAS) Maj-Gen S R Ramaswamy.

The testing is aimed at identifying the effectiveness of the bacterial-fungus-protozoan weapons.

The Army is looking to develop a new weapon, similar to the biological warfare weapons that India has tested for decades, to take on the US and China.

While the testing is in the early stages, the army has the option of using the weapons to attack the Indian economy.