India to have Chief of Defence Staff! What does the big announcement by PM Modi mean?

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Updated: August 15, 2019 12:50:47 PM

Though no name has been announced yet, informed sources say that the present Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat is likely to be the first CDS. Once the CDS is appointed he will head all the three services – army, navy and air force.

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On issues related to the armed forces, the CDS will be the single-point advisor to the government. The officer who is at the time of setting up the post from all the three services army, navy and air force will be appointed as a CDS.

Though no name has been announced yet, informed sources say that the present Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat is likely to be the first CDS. Once the CDS is appointed he will head all the three services – army, navy and air force.

To be clear, there will be separate chiefs of the three services who will be four-star officers. And they will report to CDS who will be a five-star officer.

The creation of CDS is expected to integrate logistics; planning and will in the future lead to theatre commands.

How did it start?

Post Kargil Conflict, the government had set up a high level Committee of 11 members which were to review the entire security system and how it could be improved to deal with future scenarios.

It was also to study how to plug holes in the gaps in the security system.

There was also a Group of Ministers (GoM) set up in  2001 whose task was to suggest reforms to improve the security of the country. This GoM too had suggested the creation of CDS.

In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force had suggested that a post of permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) be created, which would have the three chiefs and the senior-most will be the chairman.

However, there was no action on setting up the post of the CDS. In his place, the Military had the Chiefs of Staff Committee which had all the three service chiefs.

In the Chiefs of the Staff Committee, the senior-most among the three chiefs is the chairman, who does not have any real powers.

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