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Chief of Defence Staff could have 5 star rank, with administrative and not operational control

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New Delhi, Aug 17: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi made an important announcement on August 15 when he said that the post of Chief of Defence Staff would be created.

Although it is not entirely clear, what will be the duties of the CDS, sources say that he would be tasked to coordinate between the three service chiefs in training, logistics, planning and procurements.

File photo of Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa

To define the role, the Defence Secretary has been asked to give a report to the government by November. The CDS would have a five star rank, which would be above the four star rank of the three service chiefs.

The other option is to have a four star rank for the CDS, but treat him as a first among equals to the three chiefs.

Why the post of Chief of Defence Staff is crucial for India

The powers that would be vested would be crucial. In 2001, a group of ministers had recommended that the CDS should have administrative control and not operational control.

"The CDS should have the requisite mandate and authority. Give it time to evolve as acceptability will be an issue. Need is to align authority and accountability," the Kargil Review Committee had said.

While previous governments were reluctant on creating such a position, this time around the Modi government decided to go in for a CDS as it would be a game changer. The CDS would be a one point reference for the Prime Minister in all security related matters, especially those concerning the military.

Modi said that in order to further better coordination between the forces, I want to announce that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This would ensure that the forces are more effective, Modi also said during his Independence Day speech.

Chief of Defence Staff: Why it would be a game changer?

The first time that the recommendation for this post was made was by the K Subrahmanyam Committee that was set up after the Kargil. Another committee headed by Naresh Chandra which was set up to suggest reforms in higher defence management had also suggested the importance of such a post. The committee, however, suggested that the post of a Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff be created.

The CDS would focus on coordination between the three service chief, when it comes to procurements, budgeting, logistics and training. The Army, Navy and IAF chief will, however, continue to have operational command of their respective forces.

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