General Bipin Rawat has now become India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Gen Rawat retired as Indian Army chief on December 31. The CDS will be a 4-star General and the principal military advisor for the Minister of Defence. He will also head the new Department of Military Affairs to ensure jointness in logistics, training as well as procurement of the three armed services. New Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane was given an Army Guard of Honour on same day for assuming command of the force.
Indian government amended the Army rules to change the retirement age of tri-Service chief and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to 65 years. The decision to amend the rules has been taken so a service chief can be appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) after retirement. According to previous rules, the service chiefs can serve for a maximum period of three years or till attaining the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
Officials said bringing about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years will be another major mandate of the CDS. The tri-service agencies, organisations and commands relating to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS and he will also function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
The Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) will comprise chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most member is appointed its chairperson. In one of his first decisions, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat issued directions to prepare a roadmap by June 30 to create an Air Defence Command to enhance security of India's skies.