Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has now been officially named as India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). General Bipin Rawat’s tenure will start with effect from 31st December until further orders and extension in his service. The announcement has been made months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that his government would establish the top military post. New Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane will be given an Army Guard of Honour on same day for assuming command of the force.
Earlier, the Cabinet Committee on Security approved the creation of the CDS who will act as the principal military adviser to the defence minister on all matters relating to tri-services. According to existing rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum period of three years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
The CDS will not be eligible to hold any government post after demitting office. The CDS will not be allowed to take up any private employment without prior approval for a period of five years after demitting the office, officials said. A key mandate of the CDS will be to facilitate the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands.
Officials said bringing about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years will be another major mandate of the CDS. The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
A pre-scheduled ceremony to hand over the baton of the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee by outgoing Army Chief Gen Rawat to Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh was cancelled on Friday. The ceremony to hand over the baton of chairman of COSC was scheduled as Gen Rawat is due for retirement from service on December 31.
The Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) comprises chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most member is appointed its chairperson. There was an indication that the ceremony has been cancelled as the government is likely to appoint the CDS by Tuesday. The CDS will also act as the permanent chairman of the CoSC.