Gen Bipin Rawat to head India's first unified command
30 December 2019
It is official now, General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, will take over as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, the unified command, after he retired as Army Chief on 31 December.
The Cabinet Committee on Defence announced the decision a day before General Rawat, who was appointed Chief of Army Staff on 31 December 2016, was to retire from service after completing a full three-year term as the Chief of Army Staff.
General Rawat is the first officer to hold the post of the Chief of Defence Staff, which was set up just days ago.
The CDS will function as a single-point advisor to the government on matters related to the military and will focus on better synergy among the Army, Air Force and the Navy.
Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane, currently the vice chief of Army Staff, will take over as Army chief after General Bipin Rawat demits office on Tuesday.
An alumnus of the St Edward School, Shimla, the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, General Bipin Rawat is from the Gorkha regiment.
General Rawat has commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley and a corps in the Northeast.
"He will be drawing a salary equivalent to (each of the three) service chiefs and will head the Department of Military Affairs to be created under the ministry of defence. He will function as its secretary," Javadekar said during a cabinet briefing last week.
The CCS also approved the report of a high-level committee, headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, which finalised responsibilities and the enabling framework for the CDS.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, on 15 August, announced that India will have a CDS as head of the tri-services. Since then the government appointed an implementation committee headed by NSA Ajit Doval to finalise an enabling framework and determine the exact responsibilities for the CDS.
Official sources said, “the Department of Military Affairs under the Chief of Defence Staff will facilitate the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/theatre commands.”
The Chief of Defence Staff will also serve as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. In this role, the CDS will be supported by the Integrated Defence Staff, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.