India named Chief of Army Staff – Bipin Rawat as its first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The Chief of Defence Staff will be a four-star general and principal military adviser to the defence minister.
The position-holder will head the newly-constituted department of military affairs which is tasked to ensure “jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services” ie army, navy and air force.
According to the paper, India’s Defence Ministry recently amended the army, navy and air force rules by bringing in a clause that allows Chief of Defence Staff to serve up to the maximum age of 65. The existing rules state that an army chief has a three-year tenure or up to the age of 62.
The move to appoint CDS comes amid high tensions between India and Pakistan over the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution which provided special autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
General Bipin Rawat, a counterinsurgency specialist and considered a close aide of PM Modi succeeded General Dalbir Singh Suhaag. His appointment raised a few eyebrows among opposition parties because he was given the job ahead of two more senior colleagues.
Other Nations With Chief Of Defence Staff
The Chief of the Defence Staff; Italy: The post of Chief of the Defence Staff of Italy was created on 4 May 1925 and Pietro Badoglio was the first person to hold it.
The Chief of Staff of the Armies; France: The Chief of Staff of the Armies is the leading senior military officer responsible for the usage of the French Armed Forces. This post was created on 28 April 1948.
The Chief of the General Staff; China: The post of Chief of the General Staff is Chief of the Republic of China was created on 23 May 1946.
The Chief of the Defence Staff; Spain: This is the highest-ranking military officer in the Spanish Armed Forces. The post was created on January 11, 1984.
The Chief of the Defence Staff; UK: The Chief of the Defence Staff is also the senior-most military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence Minister and the Prime Minister and was formed on 1 January 1959
Chief of the Defence Staff; Canada: The Chief of the Defence Staff is the second most senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces. The position of CDS was formed in the year 1964.
Chief of Staff, Joint Staff; Japan: This is the highest-ranking military officer and head of the Operational Authority of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. This position of CDS was formed on 1 July 1954.
Role of Chief Of Defence Staff – India
The Chief of Defence Staff of India is described by officials as the “first among equals” among service chiefs. The CDS would be a four-star general belonging to any of the three sectors of the Indian armed forces.
The CDS will be tasked with reducing weapons acquisition procedures and integrating operations of the Indian Forced- Army, Air Force and Navy in case of a conflict
Apart from being the military advisor for the government, The Chief of Defence Staff of India will also head the Department of Military Affairs
The CDS will have the authority to direct the service chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force and will also have the authority to create theatre commands as and when needed.