Hailing the Union Cabinet's decision to approve the Chief of Defence Staff's (CDS) post and its charter and duties, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday, called it a "historic and major" decision towards bringing about joint manship between the armed forces.
Singh's remarks came after the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its nod to the CDS, a four-star general who will head the new Department of Military Affairs.
Taking to Twitter, Singh said, "In a historic decision for ushering in reforms in the higher defence management in the country, the government has decided to create a post of Chief of Defence Staff and to create a Department of Military Affairs, within the Ministry of Defence (MoD)."
"The decision to create CDS is a major step towards bringing about joint manship between the armed forces."
Govt fulfils promise
With this decision, Singh said the government has fulfilled the commitment given by Prime Minister Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort during his Independence Day speech this year.
Announcing the Cabinet's decision, Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said the CDS will be drawing a salary equivalent to service chiefs and will head the Department of Military Affairs to be created under the Ministry of Defence.
"He (CDS) will function as its Secretary," said Javadekar addressing a press briefing.
The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999 and will have all the powers like other secretaries, including financial. The biggest challenge before the CDS will be to ensure joint manship among the three services, which will include powers to work on setting up of few theatre commands as well as to allocate military assets among the services to synergise their operations.
While the service chiefs will continue to head the operations of their respective forces, the CDS will have powers on tri-service administrative issues. Currently, the three services chiefs coordinate their work under the framework of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS). However, after the appointment of the CDS, the IDS would be subsumed into the new structure.
On August 15, Modi had announced that India will have the CDS as head of the tri-services. After the Prime Minister's announcement, an Implementation Committee headed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was appointed to finalise an enabling framework and determine the exact responsibilities of the CDS.