New Delhi (IANS): 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 act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-services matters. The three service chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective forces.
The idea of creating the CDS’ post is that India should not have a fragmented approach. “Our entire military power will have to work in unison. All the three (services) should move simultaneously at the same pace,” said a senior government official.
The CDS was planned after looking into the changing nature of warfare, security environment and national security challenges.
The aim is to bring about jointness between the armed forces of the country in training, procurement, staffing and operations, to enhance the quality of military advice given to the political leadership through integration of service inputs, and to develop and foster expertise in military affairs.
“The CDS will work exclusively with military matters that fall within the purview of the Department of Military Affairs. The Department of Defence will deal with larger issues pertaining to defence of the country,” the official said.
Now, the armed forces will fall under the ambit of Department of Military Affairs, which will have appropriate expertise to manage military affairs.
The Department of Military Affairs will have the appropriate mix of civilian and military officers at every level.
The department will promote jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the three services. It will facilitate restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.
The CDS will also have a second role. He will be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. In this role, he will be supported by the Integrated Defence Staff.
The detailed roles and responsibilities of the CDS are as under:
The CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service shiefs. The CDS will administer tri-services organisations. Their military command will be with the chief of the duly notified service, which will play a predominant role in effective functioning of that specific tri-service organisation.
“However, tri-services agencies/organisations/commands related to cyber and space will be under the command of the CDS,” said the official.
The CDS He will provide integrated inputs of the services to the relevant authorities. He will be a member of the Defence Acquisition Council and the Defence Planning Committee.
He will bring about jointness in operations, logistics, transportation, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of the first CDS assuming office.
He will ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it; enhance the share of indigenous equipment; evaluate plans for ‘out of area contingencies’, as well other contingencies such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, implement the five-year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP) and the two-year Annual Acquisition Plans (AAPs) as a follow-up of the Integrated Capability Development Plan (ICDP).
The CDS will assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget and integrate and rationalise international cooperation plans.
He will prepare strategy papers on military matters for consideration of the competent authority, bring about reforms in the functioning of three services aimed at augmenting combat capabilities of the Armed Forces.
“This may, inter-alia, entail rationalisation of facilities. Use of indigenous equipment across the whole spectrum. He will identify and end obsolete practices, which may have crept in due to the colonial legacy,” the officer said.