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Chief Of Defence Staff

The Prime Minister has announced the establishment of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for the three services – the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India. It will synergize long term planning, procurement, training and logistics of the three Services, and ensure better coordination between them. The creation of a CDS to act as a single point military adviser to the Prime Minister on strategic issues was one of the key recommendations of the Kargil review committee on higher military reforms after the 1999 conflict. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India. The Chief of Defence Forces will also be the head of the three services and will be a five-star military officer. CDS may offer advice on long-term defence planning and management; including manpower, equipment & strategy and above all, “joint manship” in operations

Why we require CDS:-

  • The post is aimed at ensuring better coordination between the three services
  • The intention behind creating CDS was to “reconcile possible differences” in service-specific opinions to enable the government to arrive at considered military decisions
  • The role the CDS would play in fostering inter-services jointness in terms of budgeting, equipment purchases, training, joint doctrines and planning of military operations – An imperative of modern warfare
  • The CDS is also seen as being vital to the creation of “theatre commands”, integrating tri-service assets and personnel like in the US military.

Most countries with advanced militaries have such a post, albeit with varying degrees of power and authority.

Where the idea came from:-

It was first recommended after the 1999 Kargil War.

  • Besides the high-level committee on the Kargil War, a group of ministers that was formed in 2001 had also favored creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
  • The CDS is also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar (retd) Committee which submitted its report on December 2016
  • In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force recommended that the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) should be created.

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