In a landmark military development, PM Modi on Thursday in the Independence Day address announced that the country will now have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as head of the tri-services. Notably, the proposal of a CDS has been pending since the Kargil conflict in 1999. Making the announcement, PM Modi said that the CDS will ensure synergy among the three military services and provide effective leadership to them.
"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 Prime Minister had said.
The primary role of a CDS, who will be senior to the service chiefs, will be to work towards increasing operational coordination among the Army, Navy or Air Force. The CDS will be dealing with India's national security with a comprehensive approach, who will also as a single-point military adviser to the Prime Minister and Defence Minister on key defence and strategic issues.
In the wake of the Kargil War in 1999, a high-level committee formulated to examine the gaps in the country's security system had called for the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff who would serve as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.
Republic Media Network's Consulting Editor Major Gaurav Arya (Retd) had called for the need for a office of a Chief of Defence Staff in his blog on August 9, 2017.
Here's what Major Gaurav Arya had suggested on the CDS:
In his blog 'The Trident', Major Gaurav Arya had suggested that the CDS "should be a five-star general equivalent, to whom all the service chiefs will report". He further stated that the CDS could be from any of the three services and would report directly to the Prime Minister and will be his Chief Advisor on all defence-related matters.
"His position will have to be constitutional, and would ideally have to be ratified by Parliament," Major Gaurav had added.
Adding that we currently have one Lieutenant General as Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Major Arya further asserted that when all the theater commands report into the Chief of Defence Staff, "it will be like a pride of lions out on a hunt".
(With agency inputs)