Government of India proposes appointment of Chief of Defense Staff

Praveen Samuel

NEW DELHI: The Government of India has initiated action towards the possibility to appoint the Chief of Defense Staff (C D S) who will be heading the three services. In connection with this a high-level committee headed by NSA Mr. Ajit Doval has submitted its report to the Government. The report consists of the details to finalize responsibilities and enabling framework for the proposed Chief of Defense Staff (C D S).

It is likely that the government will make an announcement within next two weeks concerning the appointment of the C D S who will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.

Mr. Shripad Naik, Minister of State for Defense said in the Rajya Sabha that the C D S would come under the bounds of the Right to Information Act.

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on August 15 gave an announcement to the nation that India will have the C D S as the head of the three services. This will be a landmark military improvement.

After a few days of the announcement given by Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India an execution Committee headed by National Security Adviser Mr. Doval was appointed to finalize an enabling framework and determine the exact responsibilities for the C D S. When he was questioned in Rajya Sabha concerning the matter Mr. Doval said that the report was submitted to the Government.

Mr. Dowal said the committee was constituted mainly to determine and finalize the exact responsibilities, and suggest an enabling framework for the C D S besides all other issues involved.

The Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force personal have already recommended the names of their senior-most commanders to the defense ministry for the top position.

Mr. Bipin Rawat remains as the front runner up for the post according to a Government source.

The day on which Gen. Rawat will retire is on December 31. Top government sources said, if everything goes according to plan, then the government would name him as the country’s first C D S before he retires.

The C D S will be a Four-Star General and will be the first among equals among the service chiefs. However, in the list of protocol, the C D S will be possessing a higher rank compared to the service chiefs.

The main task of the C D S will be to ensure unity among the three services which will include the powers to work on setting up of few theater commands as well as to allocate military assets among the services to synergies their operations.

In the present scenario, the three services coordinate their work under the framework of the Integrated Defense Staff (IDS). However, after appointment of the C D S, the IDS would be included into the new structure.

The C D S will also be the single-point military adviser to the Prime Minister and Defense Minister on key Defense and strategic issues.

In the wake of the Kargil war a high-level committee was set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in 1999 and this high-level committee had called for appointment of a Chief of Defense Staff(C D S) as a single-point military adviser to the Defense Minister.

A group of ministers analyzing required reforms in the national security system had also favored appointing a Chief of Defense Staff.

In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task force had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of the Staff Committee.







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