General M M Naravane frontrunner to be next Chief of Defence Staff
New Delhi, Dec 09: A new Chief of Defence Staff will be appointed soon and going by the recommendations and rules, Indian Army Chief, General M M Naravane is the frontrunner.
This became necessary following the death of Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat in an air crash on December 8. The appointment of a new CDS is likely to be made soon so that he can carry on the military reforms initiated by General Rawat to create theatre commands and also bring in jointness in the functioning of the Army, Indian Air Force and Navy.
The overall merit cum seniority is what would be considered before appointing a new CDS. The rules say that all service chiefs can be considered for the post. Its says that a General who can provide sound and single point advise to the government can be considered for the post of CDS.
Air Marshal B K Pandey, B K Pandey tells OneIndia that the senior most among the three chiefs will take over. As it stands, Indian Army Chief, General M M Naravane is the senior most among the three service chiefs. Logically, he should take over.
The government could either wait for General Naravane to retire as Army Chief and then make him CDS or appoint him right away. When the rules were amended the age of superannuation for the CDS was made 65 years, Air Marshal Pandey also pointed out. The post of CDS was a first and his replacement would also be a first owing to an emergency, he also added.
Considering General Naravane's seniority, he could be made the CDS chief. Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar are around 2 years junior to him.
A recommendation by the Shekatkar committee, the government must choose the CDS from among the three service chiefs. This would mean that General Naravane would be the frontrunner for the post.
General Naravane is due to retire in April next year. If he is named as the next CDS then the post of Army chief would fall vacant. This would mean that the government will have to appoint a new Army chief.
The government would not keep the post vacant for too long as there are several challenges on the borders with Pakistan and China at the moment. Moreover the government would look to appoint a CDS from the Army due to challenges being faced on the borders.