August 15, 2019
In a major announcement for the three armed forces of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced that the country will now have a post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) that will integrate the operations of the three forces — the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. PM Narendra Modi said this in his Independence Day speech today.
Prime Minister Modi said the armed forces are pride of every India. He said in the changing time, there is a need for the forces to sharpen coordination.
“Our forces are India’s pride. 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),”PM Modi said in his I-Day speech.
“This is going to make the forces even more effective,” PM Modi said.
Speaking about the decision, PM Modi said this is important to be in sync with the changing nature of war and security in the world.
“Experts of this field for long have been demanding this. We have today decided that India will now have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Once this post is created, it will provide an effective leadership at the topmost level of the three forces,” PM Modi said.
The prime minister said this will provide a major boost to the reforms of our defence and strategic endeavors.
WHAT IS THE CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF?
The Chief of Defence Staff is a single-point adivsor to the government on all matters related to the military. The officer appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff heads all the three arms of the military — the army, navy and air force.
The three forces will continue to have their own chiefs. However, the four-star officers heading these three services will reported to the Chief of Defence Staff, who would be a five-star officer.
The recommendation that India have a Chief of Defence Staff was first made after the 1999 Kargil War by a high-level committee that was appointed to review the security system in the aftermath of the conflict.
However, no action was taken on the recommendation. Instead, the military had the Chiefs of Staff Committee that comprised of all the three service chiefs.
The senior-most of the three chiefs functions as the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. However, the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee is effectively the first among equals and does not weild real power like a Chief of Defence Staff would.