Things you should know about Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Things you should know about Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi earlier announced the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will be above the three Service Chiefs. What are its implications on India and its Armed Forces. CDS will be country's higher level military reform to bring  tri-service integration

Who is Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

The Chief of Defence Staff is senior most officer of all tri-services and military advisor to the government and to coordinate long-term planning, procurement's, training and logistics of the three services.

The Chief of Defence Staff, being above the three Service Chiefs, has to play  his role by optimizing procurement, avoiding duplication among the services and streamlining the process. Chief of Defence Staff would also act as the military advisor to the Prime Minister on Nuclear issues as India being a nuclear weapon state.

What is the history of Chief of Defence Staff?

The proposal for a Chief of Defence  has been there for two decades, after the Kargil conflict of 1999 to recommend higher military reforms. It was first made by the K. Subrahmanyam committee but due to lack of consensus and apprehensions among services, it never moved forward.
In 2012, the Naresh Chandra committee recommended the appointment of a Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) as a midway to allay apprehensions over the Chief of Defence Staff.

The Chief of Defence Staff is also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt General D.B. Shekatkar (retd) Committee which submitted its report in December 2016 This report had 34 recommendations pertaining to the tri-services.

What is the Current Status regarding Chief of Defence Staff

Presently the senior most officer of tri-services Cheifs functions as the Chief of the defence staff Committee. For instance Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa took over as the Chairman COSC on May 31 from outgoing Navy Chief Adm Sunil Lanba.
However, Air Chief Marshal B.S Dhanoa will be in the role for only few months as he is set to retire on September 30 after which COSC would be Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat who will then be the senior most. Gen Rawat too is set to retire on December 31 after three years in office. We can expect Gen Bipin Rawat to be the country's first Chief of Defence Staff


According to Defence sources, the Ministry of Defence will now initiate the process of creating the position of Chief of Defence (CDS) and this is expected to take few months.

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