General Bipin Rawat has been appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) just a day before his retirement from his position as Chief of Army Staff, according to several media reports.
The CDS will act as the principal military adviser to the defence minister on all matters relating to the army, navy and air force. The appointee will be responsible for facilitating the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, in the areas of operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years.
The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be also be under the CDS’ command and he will also function as the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
The government on Sunday amended the rules of the tri-services to change the retirement age of the chief of the three forces and CDS to 65 years. Before the amendment of the rules, the three service chiefs retired after either completing three years in office or once they reach the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
On 24 December, the Union Cabinet approved the setting up of Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence to be headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), an officer holding the rank of a four-star General. Rawat will be the first officer to hold this position.
The constitution of the post came months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech, in which he had promised that a single-point military advisor will be appointed to advise the government on all matters related to the military
General Rawat assumed charge as Chief of Army Staff on 31 December, 2016. Before becoming army chief, he handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the Line of Control with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control with China and in the North East.
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Updated Date: Dec 31, 2019 07:44:35 IST