The Central government is shortly going to announce India's first Chief of Defence Staff. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be a four-star position, created as part of a defence management overhaul.
PM Narendra Modi had made the announcement about the creation of new office of Chief of Defence Staff on August 15, 2019. The government had tasked National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to head the committee for the setting up of a new position.
A CDS will not be eligible to hold any government office after demitting the office of CDS. Also, no private employment without prior approval for a period of five years after demitting the office of CDS will be permitted.
According to news report, current Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is likely to appointed as the country's first Chief of Defence Staff.
Armed forces will fall under ambit of Department of Military Affairs (DMA) which will have appropriate expertise to manage military affairs. Chief of Defence Staff will the DMA.
The Department of Military Affairs will have appropriate mix of civilian and military officers, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday. CDS will also be a permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. In this role, he will be supported by the Integrated Defence Staff, Javdekar added.
Why a CDS is required?
1. According to the government, a CDS is required to bring about jointness between the Armed Forces of the country in training, procurement, staffing and operations.
2. To enhance the quality of Military Advice to the Political Leadership through integration of service inputs.
3. To develop and foster expertise in military affairs in particular and in defence matters generally.
Role and responsibilities of CDS:
- The officer appointed for the post of Chief of Defence Staff is expected to be responsible for creating synergy in operations and finances for all three armed forces--the Air Force, Navy and the Army.
- The key focus of the CDS office will be involved in procurement of military equipment for all the three armed forces.
- The CDS will be a sole advisor to the government on all military matters as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
- A CDS will act as the Principal Military Adviser to defence minister on tri-Services matters.
- CDS will be member of Defence Acquisition Council and Defence Planning Committee.
- Bring about jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc. of the three services within three years of the first CDS assuming office.
- Enhance the share of indigenous equipment.
- Implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP), and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans (AAP), as a follow-up of Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).
- Assign inter-Services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
- Prepare strategy papers on military matters for consideration of the competent authority.
- A CDS will identify and end obsolete practices, which may have crept in due to the colonial legacy.