Former army chief Gen Bipin Rawat is now the country’s first chief of defence staff (CDS) and Gen MM Naravane is the new army chief. The appointment of Gen Rawat has been effective from 31 December. Gen Rawat was made the chief of the Indian Army in 2016. His role as the CDS and things he will no longer be doing are detailed as under.
Defence expert Maroof Raza explained on a television channel the possible work responsibilities and authority of Gen Rawat, the country’s first CDS. Raza said that the first and foremost task of Gen Rawat will be to coordinate between the three armies. But he will be more than just commandeering the services.
Gen Rawat as CDS will be the chief military adviser to the defence minister. He will be responsible for the affairs of the three forces. He will hold positions in groups such as the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) and the Defence Planning Commission (DPC). Apart from this, he will be a secretary in the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
Gen Rawat will not retire at the age of 62 like other army chiefs. He will retire at the age of 65. But he will get his salary and facilities like other army chiefs.
The CDS will assist in paving the way for joint procurement, military equipment and weapons for the three forces. Also, he will help in implementing the schemes of new vacancies.
The country’s first CDS will facilitate the reorganisation of military commands by establishing a theatre command in the country. The country currently has a theatre command in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Under this, he will try to convert the 17 commands present in the country into four or five commands.
Gen Rawat will head the space, cyber, Special Forces command, tri-service command etc. Apart from this, there will be a permanent chairman of the chief of staff committee. There will be military advisers of the Nuclear Command Authority (NCA).
Raza said that Gen Rawat will be the fifth secretary in departments like DRDO, Defence Production and Ex-Servicemen Welfare. But unlike the three chiefs, he will not be able to take operational decisions about the army.
The CDS will not have a personal command or service, which he had until yesterday. But he will look into the matters of personnel and their issues.
The country’s first CDS Gen Rawat will not give any order to the three army chiefs. He can only advise them. He will not be the boss of any of the three service chiefs.
The CDS will not be able to stop the new capital acquisition for the forces. Nor will it create any hindrance in it. But he can advise.