General Bipin Rawat who served as Chief of Army Staff since January 1, 2017, has been appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with effect from December 31, 2019.
General Bipin Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978 .
In a landmark decision, on December 24, with tremendous reform in higher defence management in the country, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved to create the post of Chief of Defence Staff in the rank of a four-star General The Chief of Defence Staff will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary, according to a release posted on the PIB site.
It said following areas will be dealt by the Department of Military Affairs headed by CDS:
- The Armed Forces of the Union, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
- Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence comprising Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Air Headquarters and Defence Staff Headquarters.
- The Territorial Army.
- Works relating to the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.Procurement exclusive to the Services except capital acquisitions, as per prevalent rules and procedures.
The decision to appoint CDS follows the announcement made by the Prime Minister in his Independence Day address on 15th August 2019. “India should not have a fragmented approach. Our entire military power will have to work in unison and move forward. All the three (Services) should move simultaneously at the same pace. There should be good coordination and it should be relevant to the hope and aspirations of our people. It should be in line with the changing war and security environment with the world. After formation of this post (CDS), all the three forces will get effective leadership at the top level.”