CDS: What is it
Indian Army General Bipin Rawat has been named as the first Chief of Defence Staff. He was named just a day before he was set to retire from the post of General in the Army. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort in 2019 that his government would set up the post without any delay. But what does this newly created post mean?
To put it in simple terms, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India. The officer concerned will be in a position to advise on matters related to all the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force — thus making India’s armed forces integrated.
Equal, but first
The Chief of Defence Staff will be a ‘first among equals’, a fourth four-star officer who will be senior to the three other service chiefs.
Unlike the other high commands of the three defence services, the chief of Defence Staff would retire at the age of 65 instead of 62.
The need for CDS
The recommendation for creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was first made after the 1999 Kargil War. A high-level committee that was set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil War and recommended that the three services should have a Chief of Defence Staff.
What will he do?
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 promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing and facilitation the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources.