GR News Desk | New Delhi
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday gave its nod to the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The institution will act as a one-point adviser to the government on matters related to the military and will function with a prime aim of integrating the three services, Army, Navy and the Air Force.
The demand for the creation of the post has been raised post-1999 war with Pakistan and was proposed by the Kargil war review committee. However, owing to political interference and continuous delays on part of the military ranks, the institution could not be created.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of the institution during his 2019 Republic Day speech.
What will be role of CDS?
The CDS will be responsible for advising the government on military affairs and work to synergise the functioning of the tri-services in a more effective manner. The integration of the three forces has been long sought and the institution is preceded by the Integrated Defence Staff. The IDS, however, “works as a point organisation for jointmanship in Ministry of Defence which integrates policy, doctrine, warfighting, and procurement.” The CDS will take forward the work of IDS with a focus on planning and execution of fund utilisation, procurement of material for the three forces.
The CDS will fall under the Department of Military Affairs (CMA), which will have a mix of civil and military workforce. The DMA will promote jointmanship in training and staffing for services, facilitate the restructuring of military commands through establishment of joint/theatre commands. Meanwhile, the CDS likely to bring the Defence Cyber Agency the Special Forces Command and the Space Force command under its roof to create a collaborative ecosystem.
The government specified a second role for the CDS, who will be also the permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee aided by IDS.
A major debate that led to a delay in the creation of the CDS was the fears that the officer might outrank the sitting chiefs, clearing the doubt Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the CDS will be first among equals. However, the CDS will be ahead in terms of official protocol. The government also said that the CDS will not exercise any military command but will administer the tri-services.
Who will be CDS?
While the name of the first CDS is yet to be announced, reports suggest Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat is likely to get the appointment. He is slated to demit the office of COAS on December 31 and pass the mantle to Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane.
According to the framework, the CDS will be a four-star General and will draw a salary equivalent to service chiefs. The CDS will not be eligible to hold any government office and take private employment for five years after demitting the post of CDS.