The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Tuesday approved the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999, official sources said.
While the CDS will be the principal adviser to the defence minister on tri-Services matters, the three service chiefs will continue to advise the defence minister on matters that are exclusively under their domain.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh tweeted —
The decision to create CDS is a major step towards bringing about jointmanship between the Armed Forces.
With this decision the Govt. has fulfilled the commitment given by the PM Shri @narendramodi from the ramparts of Red Fort during his Independence Day speech this year.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) December 24, 2019
The official will have the rank of a four-star General and will head the Department of Military Affairs (which is to be created under the Ministry of Defence). As per reports, the CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three Service Chiefs.
The CDS will give integrated inputs of the services to the concerned authorities, and will also be responsible for enhancing the share of indigenous equipment and ensuring optimal utilisation of infrastructure. The official will also be part of the defence acquisition council and the defence planning committee.
The Cabinet Committee on Security also approved the report of a high-level committee, headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, which finalised responsibilities and the enabling framework for the CDS, they said.
In a landmark military reform, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 August announced that India will have a CDS as head of the tri-services.
Days after the prime minister's announcement, an Implementation Committee headed by Doval was appointed to finalise an enabling framework and determine the exact responsibilities for the CDS.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2019 17:26:13 IST