The CDS will also be the principal military adviser to the defence minister on tri-services (involving Army, Navy and Air Force) issues.
New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Tuesday approved the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will be a single-point military advisor to the government with the mandate to bring synergy between the Army, Air Force and Navy in procurement, training and war doctrine to make India ready for future wars.
The CDS will function as the military adviser to the Prime Minister-led Nuclear Command Authority responsible for command, control and operational decisions regarding India’s nuclear weapons programme.
The CDS will also be the principal military adviser to the defence minister on tri-services (involving Army, Navy and Air Force) issues. The Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force will continue to advise the defence minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective services.
The CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs, so as to be able to provide impartial advice to the political leadership. The CDS will be a four-star general, like the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, but will be “first among equals”. CDS will be the permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee that has three service chiefs as its 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. CDS will have salary and perks of a service chief.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) is expected to shortly announce the name of India’s first CDS. The current Army chief Bipin Rawat is seen as the front-runner for the post of CDS. The most crucial function of CDS
will be to assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals of Army, Navy and Air Force based on the anticipated budget and will work to reduce wasteful expenditure. CDS will enable the armed forces to implement co-ordinated defence doctrines and procedures and to foster cohesion among the three services.
CDS will implement five-year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP), and two-year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans (AAP), as a follow-up of the Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).
CDS will facilitate restructuring of military commands by integrating land-air-sea operations to create new theatre commands for effective military response in case of hostilities. Andaman and Nicobar Command is the only tri-service theatre command of the Indian Armed Forces based at Port Blair.
The tri-service agencies commands related to cyber and space will be under the CDS.
The CDS will be a member of the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the defence minister and the Defence Planning Committee chaired by the National Security Adviser (NSA).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in his Independence speech at the Red Fort. The creation of CDS is seen as the major militarily reform which comes nearly two decades after the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) recommended it.
The CDS will focus on bringing synergy between the Army, Air Force and the Navy in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance within three years of assuming office. He will ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it through jointness among the services.