Centre reassesses concept of Chief of Defence Staff post, Military Affairs Department
- The government is reassessing the concept of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) to fix overlaps in the system and streamline the process due to which there has been a delay in the appointment of a new CDS
About Chief of Defence Staff post and the Military Affairs Department
- This post was suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999
- In December 2019, the government approved the creation of the post of CDS who would also function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).
- Aim: to foster greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military and keep inter-service frictions to a minimum
- In addition, the DMA was created as the fifth department in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with the CDS functioning as its Secretary.
Role and Responsibility of CDS
- to provide “single-point military advice” to the government, inject synergy in planning, procurements and logistics in the armed forces.
- to ensure integration of land-air-sea operations through the eventual setting up of theatre commands.
- to function as the military advisor to the PM-led Nuclear Command Authority,as also have direct command of tri-Service organisations to handle the new warfare domains of space and cyberspace.
- to function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and also as the Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
- to be a member of the Defence Acquisition Council and Defence Planning Committee.
Reasons for delay in re-appointment
- Additional studies are underway by the Services on the creation of integrated theatre commands
- It has been realised that the appointment of CDS in itself wasn’t enough.
- There are a lot of issues related to equivalence of status, responsibilities and so on. This made the government pause, look back and reassess the entire reform process
- Kargil Review Committee