General Bipin Rawat Has Been Named The India’s First Chief Of Defence Staff (CDS)
General Bipin Rawat has been named the India’s 1st Chief of Defence Staff. The CDS will be a four-star General, the principal military advisor to the defence minister, and head the new Department of Military Affairs to ensure jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services. General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC is the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He assumed charge on 31 December 2016 after the retirement of General Dalbir Singh Suhag
The announcement of the name of India’s Chief of Defence Staff was made months after PM Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, promised that his government would establish the top military post.
PM Modi’s Independence Day assurance fulfilled a long-pending recommendation that a single-point military advisor be appointment to advise the government on all matters related to the military. The recommendation was first made by a committee that examined the military’s performance during the 1999 Kargil conflict.
On December 24, the government formally established the post of Chief of Defence Staff. The government released the charter and duties of the CDS and said that the post would be occupied by a four-star officer from the Indian Army, Indian Navy or the Indian Air Force.
Days later, the government amended the rules of the Army, Navy and the Air Force to allow a Chief of Defence Staff to serve until the age of 65. Currently, the three service chiefs retire after either completing three years in office or once they reach the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
The CDS will be the “first among equals” with respect to the three service chiefs, all four-star officers themselves who will retain the operational command of their respective forces.
The government said that the CDS will head the newly established Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence. Among the areas the CDS will focus on will be promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing and facilitation the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources.
It is widely expected that the Chief of Defence Staff will be able to better synergise the operations of the three armed forces — the Army, Navy and the Air Force — and reduce wasteful expenditure by better coordinating the procurement plans of the three services.