In a major move, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has been named as India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) – a four-star position being created as part of a defence management overhaul.
The CDS will also be the principal military advisor to the defence minister and head the new Department of Military Affairs to ensure jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services between the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.
Bipin Rawat was named the CDS just a day before he was to retire from service after completing a full three-year term as the Chief of Indian Army Staff.
The announcement for the creation of the top military post has been a long-pending recommendation of various defence panels.
Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced a few days back, "CDS will have all powers of a secretary-level officer. The files need not go through defence secretary and the CDS will be empowered to send to it directly to the defence minister."
Here's who will report to CDS
- Strategic Forces Command (Nuclear Weapons)
- Defence Cyber Agency
- Defence Space Agency
- Defence Special Ops division
- Andaman and Nicobar Command
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the CDS post while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day. PM Modi's announcement of installing a CDSis aimed at ensuring better coordination among the three services and the increasingly relevant Strategic Forces Command (SFC) in charge of the nuclear force under the Nuclear Command Authority.