Army chief General Bipin Rawat formally took over the baton of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) in New Delhi on Friday.
Outgoing CoSC Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, handed over the baton to General Rawat in a ceremonial function in South Block. Rawat, who was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978, has taken over as the chief of CoSC by virtue of being the senior-most officer from among the heads of the three armed services of the country.
General Rawat will continue holding the post till December this year when he retires.
Rawat, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), had been commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Army. He has vast experience in operations across a wide spectrum of conflict and terrain profiles.
The post of Chairman of CoSC assumes the position of Primus Inter Pares, or first among equals, amongst all the three service chiefs. The Chairman of CoSC is assisted by the Integrated Defence Staff, which is an agency that coordinates amongst various branches of the Indian armed forces.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15 this year that there will be a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for the country. The Defence Ministry is at present working out various modalities and protocols that will be instituted into the office of the CDS.
As per sources, if the office of the CDS takes shape before the end of this year, Gen Rawat might be the last person to have been appointed as the Chairman of CoSC. The post of CoSC Chairman will be abolished after the formation of the office of the CDS which will be responsible for coordinating amongst all the three armed forces.