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Chief of Defence Staff

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  • Last Updated : 18 Oct, 2022
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Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (retired) is going to be the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He will be the second after the late General Bipin Rawat. The CDS will bring tri-service synergies and integration among India’s three military services. The formation of the CDS is regarded as the largest top-level military reform since India’s independence. This is a top trending topic in recent times and this has a high chance of asking in exams like UPSC, SSC, Banking, and others. Kindly bookmark this topic for future reference.

Chief of Defence Staff :

  • He is the military chief and permanent chairman of the Chief of Staff Committee (COSC) of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • He is a Senior Active Duty Uniformed Officer in the Indian Army and Chief Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defense.
  • The chief also heads the military department.
  • The CDS is assisted by the Deputy Chief, the Chief of the Joint Defense Staff. Bipin Rawat to take office as first Chief of Defence Staff on January 1, 2020
  • The position was created to enhance the coordination of the combat capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces, the effectiveness of the three armies, and their overall integration.  
  • The government has changed the service rules of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, allowing the retired Secretary of War and his Three-star officers to be considered the highest military posts in the country.  
  • The age limit that retired employees should not reach is 62 at the time of taking office.

Important facts about newly appointed CDS:

  • He graduated from the National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. In 1981, he was assigned to the 11th Gorkha Rifle Regiment, the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army.
  • Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan has held many commands, staff, and instrument roles during his 40-year military career and has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Northeast India and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • He has also held key staff positions such as Director General of Military Operations. He previously served on a UN mission in Angola. 
  • He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal, and Vishisht Seva Medal for outstanding service to the Army. 

Reforms carried out by the Defense Chief of Staff :

One of the first reforms of the chief of staff was the long-awaited structural reform with the creation of a task force. The following are the key points –

  • There is mention of creating 2 to 5 Theater Special Commands to effectively meet the challenges on various fronts.
  • Each command contains Army, Navy, and Air Force units that work in sync with each other to achieve effective results.
  • Each command must work independently of the other, so you can react quickly and quickly to your tasks.
  • Commands may include a Peninsular Command intended to constitute the Eastern and Western Commands of the Indian Navy, a command dedicated to Jammu and Kashmir, a dedicated command for the logistics requirements of the three services, and an air defence command, It is not limited to these. 

Importance of CDS :

In a rapidly evolving geopolitical and global security environment, CDS must not hesitate to speak the truth to those in power as India continues to face a range of challenges from a range of conflicts.  We must be fair when making difficult decisions and put the national interest above all else.

Important Roles of the CDS:

  • Integration: CDS brings synergies and integration of his three services among her three military services in India. The formation of the CDS is regarded as the largest top-level military reform since India’s independence.
  • Create synergies, streamline procurement, training, and logistics, and facilitate the reorganization of military commands for optimal resource utilization. This is done through the establishment of Joint Operations, including the establishment of a Joint Command/Theater Command.
    Three specialized divisions, Special Operations, Defense Cyber, and Defense Space, also fell under the CDS. 
  • Organization Role: The CDS is also the Chief Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defence and the Standing Chairman of the Committee of the Chiefs of Staff (CSC). CDS does not exercise any military command, including by three of the Chiefs of Service.
    However, the three chiefs continue to advise the secretary of defence only on matters that affect their respective duties. ”
  • Role in Defense Procurement: Raising capital still falls to the Department of Defence, but priorities will fall to the CDS.

Major Challenges :

  • Prioritizing and building bridges between governments and institutions that resist change, are bound by tradition, and are plagued by inevitable and ongoing turf wars.  
  • Balancing five competing demands that have overwhelmed the military in recent years and exposed a lack of domestic intellectual capital.
  • Operational capabilities must be built at a pace that ensures that force asymmetries with China remain manageable. Integrate military planning and training beyond lip service, creating new structures to support integrated training, planning, and operations.
  • Articulated national and military strategies, structured processes, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), and links to the National Security Strategy (NSS) and its deployment transformation and acceleration.   
  • Government’s pursuit of self-sufficiency in defense manufacturing and breaking down the current silos of innovators and designers (scientists), manufacturers (power and private sector), and users (military), allowing users to participate in innovation.  

More about Armed Forces :

  • The military in mature democracies is usually seen as a constitutionally empowered instrument of the state under the umbrella of civilian supremacy.  
  • They are also considered political instruments of the state.
  • There is subjective civilian control over the specialized military, the latter operating with considerable autonomy and largely trusted by politicians to provide sound policy advice.  
  • In India’s military, a strong bureaucracy has catered to the sporadic attention of politicians to national security issues and has served as a political interface between the two.  
  • An adaptable and flexible independent Indian military was designed to combine present and past values.


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