24 December 2019
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Chief of Defence Staff's (CDS) post and its charter and duties. The CDS will be a 4-star general who will head the new Department of Military Affairs.
"He will be drawing a salary equivalent to service chiefs, and will head the Department of Military Affairs to be created under the Ministry of Defence. He will function as its Secretary," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said during the Cabinet briefing.
He will have all the powers like other secretaries, including financial.
The CDS will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
The biggest challenge before the CDS will be to ensure jointmanship among the three services, which will include powers to work on setting up of few theatre commands as well as to allocate military assets among the services to synergise their operations.
While the service chiefs will continue to head the operations of their respective forces, the CDS will have powers on tri-service administrative issues.
Currently, the three services chiefs coordinate their work under the framework of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS). However, after the appointment of the CDS, the IDS would be subsumed into the new structure.
On August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India will have the CDS as head of the tri-services.
After the Prime Minister's announcement, an Implementation Committee headed by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval was appointed to finalise an enabling framework and determine the exact responsibilities of the CDS.