Indian Armed Forces set to get their first chief of defence staff

News:Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the creation of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post.

Facts:

Background:

  • The proposal for a Chief of Defence Staff(CDS) has been there for two decades.
  • It was recommended by the K.Subrahmanyam committee appointed after the Kargil conflict of 1999 to recommend higher military reforms.
  • However,it did not move forward despite authorities recommending the need for creating a post for a single command centre in matters of warfare and nuclear weaponry.
  • Further,the Naresh Chandra committee in 2012 had also recommended the appointment of a Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) as a midway to allay apprehensions over the CDS.
  • The CDS was also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt General D.B. Shekatkar (retd) Committee which submitted its report in December 2016 which had 34 recommendations pertaining to the tri-services.

About Chief of Defence staff:

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be the highest-ranked officer of India’s armed forces.It will be the four-star army officer. 
  • CDS will provide his recommendations to the central government about all three armies – Air Force, Army, and Navy. 
  • It will also serve as the unified military advisor to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense. 
  • It will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created in the Ministry of Defence, and function as its Secretary.
  • It will also be a member of the Defence Acquisition Council chaired by the Defence Minister.
  • The CDS will also advise on nuclear matters in the situation of war. However,tenure of Chief of Defence Staff has not yet declared.

Significance of Chief of Defence Staff(CDS):

  • CDS will synergise long term planning, procurement, training and logistics of the three Services, and ensure better coordination between them.
  • It is expected to save money by avoiding duplication between the Services, at a time of shrinking capital expenditure within the defence budget.
  • It will also help India in Defense diplomacy as CDS will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India.
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