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Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Context:

The Union government is reassessing the concept of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) leading to a delay in the appointment to the post.

  • The post of CDS has also been lying vacant since the demise of Late. Gen. Bipin Rawat.

Relevance:

GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who is CDS?
  2. Functions of CDS
  3. Need of such a post

Who is CDS?

  • The Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) is the military head and permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The Chief of Defence Staff 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.
  • CDS was recommended by  Kargil review committee after Kargil war.
  • In 2017, intelligence and security officials had said that the absence of a CDS was hampering India’s combat capabilities

Functions of CDS

  • To act as the Principal Military Advisor to Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Service matters.
  • To administer the Tri-Service organizations/agencies/commands.
  • To be a member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Raksha Mantri.
  • To function as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • To bring about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc of the three Services.
  • To implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans, as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan.
  • To bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services with the aim to augment combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.

Need of such a post

  • To usher in reforms in the higher defence management Centre.
  • For a more streamlined system of reporting and decision making.
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