The Centre is expected to announce the name of first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India on Tuesday (December 24). Sources told Zee Media that before announcing the name of the CDS, the Centre will announce the charter and role of the CDS.
On November 20, Zee News had reported that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is expected to finalise the name of India's first CDS soon. It is learnt that the Implementation Committee headed by NSA Doval had already submitted its report to the PM Modi-led CCS over the appointment of CDS.
Government sources said that Doval-led Implementation Committee had recommended that the age bracket for the CDS would be 64 years. The names of the existing three services chiefs and senior commander-in-chief rank officers are reportedly being considered by the government for appointment to the post of first CDS of the country. Sources claimed that Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is the frontrunner in the race to become the first CDS of the country. Notably, General Rawat is set to retire as Army chief on December 31, 2019.
It may be recalled that the announcement to appoint a CDS - a position senior to the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of the Air Staff, and Chief of the Naval Staff - was made by PM Narendra Modi during his speech on India's 73rd Independence Day from New Delhi's Red Fort.
"Our defence forces are India's pride. With a view to ensure and further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort. India will have a Chief of Defence Staff - CDS which is going to make the forces even more effective," PM Modi had said.
One of the lacunae often pointed out by Indian defence experts is the absence of the single-point reference for defence issues. The creation of CDS has been a demand for the last few decades to achieve better coordination among the Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. Currently, India's senior-most defence officer is appointed as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee until the officer retires.
Currently, India's senior-most defence officer is appointed as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee until the officer retires. Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa is the present Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.