Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced the creation of a post of a Chief of Defence Staff to oversee all three defence services. Modi made the announcement while addressing the nation from the Red Fort in Delhi on India’s 73rd Independence Day.
“Our forces are India’s pride,” Modi said. “To 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. This is going to make the forces even more effective.”
The Chief of Defence Staff will be above the three service chiefs – of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The main role of the chief would be to increase operational coordination among the three security forces and deal with the national security of the country with a more comprehensive approach.
The CDS will also act as a single-point military adviser to the prime minister and the defence minister on certain important and strategic matters.
The prime minister said the Chief of Defence Staff will ensure synergy among the Army, the Navy and the Air Force and provide effective leadership to them.
“Thank you Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing historic step of institution of CDS,” tweeted Former Army Chief General (Retired) VP Malik. “This step will make our national security more effective and more economical. It will ensure better jointmanship and multi-disciplinary coordination. Salute!”
The post was first recommended by a high-level committee set up after the Kargil war in 1999 to examine the gaps in the country’s security system. It had called for the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.
A group of ministers who analysed the required reforms in the national security system had favoured the new post. The Naresh Chandra Task Force in 2012 had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.