Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

  • IASbaba
  • October 1, 2022
  • 0
Governance, Indian Polity & Constitution
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In News: The Government decided to appoint Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs.                                     

About CDS:

  • It is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • It is the highest-ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military and chief military adviser to the Minister of Defence.
  • The Chief also heads the Department of Military Affairs.
  • The CDS is assisted by a vice-chief, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff.
  • The first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, took office on 1 January 2020
  • The position was created with the aim of improving coordination, tri-service effectiveness and overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian armed forces.
  • The government amended Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force, allowing retired Service Chiefs and three-star officers eligible for consideration for the country’s top military post.
  • Age limit that the retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.


  • In a rapidly-evolving geopolitical and global security environment, in which India continues to face challenges across the spectrum of conflict, the CDS must not hesitate to speak truth to power.
  • He must be impartial while taking tough decisions and hold national interest above all else.

Challenges of CDS:

  • Prioritisation and building a bridge between a government and an organisation that is resistant to change, shackled by tradition and plagued by continued turf battles that cannot be wished away.
  • To balance five competing requirements that have overwhelmed the armed forces in recent years and exposed the shortage of intellectual capital within.
  • Need to build operational capability at a pace that will ensure that the military power asymmetry vis-à-vis China remains manageable.
  • Integrating military planning and training to levels that go beyond lip service and to create fresh structures to support integrated training, planning and operations.
  • Clearly articulated national and military strategies, structured processes, tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) and to link the National Security Strategy (NSS) with transformation and expedite its promulgation.
  • Balancing the government’s push towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing and to ensure that the current silos of innovators and designers (scientists), manufacturers (PSUs and the private sector) and users (armed forces) are broken down and users are afforded lateral entry into the innovation and manufacturing space.
  • Shedding several infructuous colonial legacies and fostering a sense of pride in India’s martial traditions that go back to epics such as the Mahabharata, and to the Maratha and Chola empires.

About Indian Armed forces:

  • The armed forces in a mature democracy are normally seen as a constitutionally empowered instrument of the state under the umbrella of civilian supremacy.
  • They are also seen as political instruments of the state.
  • There is subjective civilian control over a professionalised military, where the latter operates with a great deal of autonomy and is largely trusted by the politicians to offer sound policy advice.
  • In India’s armed forces, a powerful layer of bureaucracy has catered to the sporadic interest among politicians in matters related to national security and acted as a policy interface between the two.
  • Independent India’s armed forces have been adaptable and flexible and should blend values from present with that of the past.

Source:  Indian Express    

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