The government has extended the services of Gen. Rawat till he holds the post of CDS.
New Delhi: In a historic but long-expected move, Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat was on Monday appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who will have the challenging task of synergising the operations of the Army, Air Force and Navy to prepare them for future wars.
“The government has decided to appoint Gen. Bipin Rawat as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with effect from 31.12.2019 and until further orders,” said a government statement.
Gen. Rawat was to retire as Chief of the Army Staff on December 31. The government has extended the services of Gen. Rawat till he holds the post of CDS.
Lt. Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane will take charge as Chief of the Army Staff on Tuesday.
The Centre had on Saturday notified the retirement age for the CDS at 65 years. This means Gen. Rawat, who turns 62 in March 2020, can have a tenure of a little over three years as CDS. As the tri-services chief, Gen. Rawat will be the single-point military adviser to the Prime Minister and the government. His main task will be to restructure the military commands by integrating the land-air-sea operations of the three services to create new theatre commands for effective military response in case of hostilities.
Gen. Rawat will be the principal military adviser to the defence minister on tri-services (involving Army, Navy and Air Force) issues.
He will remain a four-star officer like the chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force, but will be the “first among equals”. The CDS will now be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, that has all the three service chiefs as members.
The Chief of Defence Staff will head the department of military affairs (DMA), to be created within the defence ministry, and will function as its secretary. The CDS will have the salary and perks of a service chief.
The CDS will assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals of the Army, Navy and Air Force based on the anticipated budget and will work to reduce wasteful expenditure. The CDS will enable the armed forces to implement coordinated defence doctrines and procedures and to foster jointmanship among the three services.
Gen Rawat is an alumnus of St. Edward School, Shimla, and was commissioned into the 11th Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in December 1978, from IMA Dehradun. He had assumed charge as Chief of the Army Staff on December 31, 2016.
As an Army commander, he had vast experience in operations across a wide spectrum of conflict and terrain profiles. He commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the eastern sector with China; a Rashtriya Rifles sector; an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley and a corps in the Northeast.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort this year. The creation of the CDS post is seen as the biggest military reform to take place in India, coming nearly two decades after it had been first recommended by the Kargil Review Committee.