scorecardresearch
General Naravane fills in for General Bipin Rawat as the CDS for time being; old system to continue

General Naravane fills in for General Bipin Rawat as the CDS for time being; old system to continue

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army General Manoj Mukund Naravane has taken over as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee till the Government of India appoints a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Army chief General MM Naravane Army chief General MM Naravane

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Indian Army General Manoj Mukund Naravane has taken over as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee till the Government of India appoints a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). It is back to the previous system wherein the senior-most among the three service chiefs was the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee for the time-being after the demise of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in an IAF helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu’s Coonoor.

General Rawat was appointed as the first CDS on January 1, 2020 and was the 27th Army chief. General Naravane took over as the 28th Army chief from General Rawat in December 2019 and his tenure will continue till April 2022. This, however, is a procedural step for the time being. “It is a procedural step that in the absence of a CDS, the senior-most chief takes over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee,” India Today quoted sources as saying.

Responsibilities of the CDS

Officials from the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) will report to General Naravane for the time. Besides this, the CDS also heads the newly-formed Department of Military Affairs and acts as the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The CDS is also responsible for facilitating the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three Services including through establishment of joint and theatre commands. Encouraging the use of indigenously made equipment is also a part of the CDS’ job memo.

Chief of Defence Staff also has powers on tri-service administrative issues whereas tri-service training has been kept under the office of the CDS as well as the Department of Military Affairs. The CDS is also the Principal Advisor to the Defence Ministry. As per the Defence Ministry, the CDS “will act as the Principal Military Advisor to Raksha Mantri on all tri-services matters. The three chiefs will continue to advise Raksha Mantri on matters exclusively concerning their respective services. CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs, so as to able to provide impartial advice to the political leadership.”

Upcoming CDS’ task cut out

During his tenure as the CDS, General Rawat had set out on his goal to roll out the theatre commands. The next CDS has to continue General Rawat’s approach on building consensus and take the reorganisation process ahead.

General Naravane had said at an event in 2020 that the next step in military reforms after the “momentous” step of appointing the CDS will be to set up integrated theatre commands and the process to set up the theatre commands needed to be “deliberate, thoughtful and well-considered, and its fruition will take several years.”

(With inputs from Abhishek Bhalla)

Published on: Dec 16, 2021, 12:12 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Dec 16, 2021, 11:52 AM IST