As General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday became country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the post reflected the hopes and aspirations of 130 crore Indians.
Congratulating General Rawat as he took charge, PM Modi wrote on Twitter that the institution of CDS carries the responsibility of modernising the Indian military. PM Modi said the former Army Chief has served the country with great zeal.
“I am delighted that as we begin the new year and new decade, India gets its first Chief of Defence Staff in General Bipin Rawat. I congratulate him and wish him the very best for this responsibility. He is an outstanding officer who has served India with great zeal,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted.
As the first CDS takes charge, I pay homage to all those who have served and laid down their lives for our nation. I recall the valiant personnel who fought in Kargil, after which many discussions on reforming our military began, leading to today’s historic development.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 1, 2020
He added, “On 15th August 2019, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I announced that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This institution carries tremendous responsibility of modernizing our military forces. It would also reflect the hopes and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians”.
The PM also wrote about the newly-created Department of Military Affairs, which he said would help the Indian armed forces face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare.
“Creation of the Department of Military Affairs with requisite military expertise and institutionalisation of the post of CDS is a momentous and comprehensive reform that will help our country face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare,” PM Modi tweeted on his personal handle.
The demand for having a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has been raised on multiple occasions by experts and veterans. It was first recommended after the 1999 Kargil War. The post is aimed at ensuring better coordination between the three services.
Earlier it was reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself informed General Bipin Rawat about his appointment as India’s first chief of defence staff.
General Rawat is the first Chief of Defence Staff in the country and will have an office in South Block ground floor while the 3, Kamraj Marg in the Lutyens zone near Defence Ministry has been earmarked as his house.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India. The officer concerned will be in a position to advise on matters related to all the three services – Army, Navy and Air Force, thus making India’s armed forces integrated.
The Chief of Defence Staff will be a four-star general who will have the same rank as the three other service chiefs, but the CDS will be ‘first among equals’.
Apart from being the military advisor for the government, the CDS will also head the Department of Military Affairs. The CDS will be tasked with trimming weapons procurement procedures and integrating operations of the Indian armed forces – Army, Air Force and Navy.
The CDS will have the responsibility to bring coordination among the Army, Navy and Air Force, and will also have the authority to create theatre commands as and when needed. The CDS will also command tri-service agencies, organisations and commands including those related to cyber and space.
Further, the CDS will also be a member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the Minister of Defence and Defence Planning Committee chaired by the National Security Advisor. He will also function as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.