CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF .. Bipin Rawat named for the top military post; to report to PM

NEW DELHI: Army chief General Bipin Rawat has been named as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Monday, in a move announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day. General Rawat will take over as the Chief of Defence Staff Tuesday, immediately on his retirement as the army chief, it was officially announced here.

As the CDS, Bipin Rawat would be in direct contact with Prime Minister on security issues. The chiefs of the three arms of Indian military, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, would report to him. He would head the department of military affairs and will be given a salary equivalent to a service chief.

It is pointed out that All P-5 nations (nuclear powers) have an equivalent post.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort in August last first made the announcement the government would create such a new post. General Rawat was already functioning as chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. In his new role, he would be expected to integrate the operations of the armed forces and trim the weapons procurement procedures.

India carefully avoided creation of such a post in view of the experiences in the neighbourhood. Pakistan and Bangladesh faced situations of military coup also for the reason that there was the unified control of the military in one hand. Or, the army chief held a supreme position. 

It was during the war and creation of Bangladesh, in the 1970s when Babu Jagajivan Ram was defence minister and Indira Gandhi the prime minister that India, for the first time, created a war room where all the three chiefs of the military sat together with the minister at the head of the table and guided the military movements. This helped in excellent control of the situations on ground and in the air with proper coordination. 
Bipin Rawat, wife Madhulika Rawaat


Sixty-year-old Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand, in a family that has generations of military service. His father was a Lt General, Laxman Singh Rawat. He graduated from the Defence Services Staff College and did course in the National Defence Academy too. He was commissioned into the Gorkha Rifles regiment in 1978. He specialised in high alititude warfare and counter-insurgency operations. 

Rawat was part of the UN mission in Congo, and also participated in a face-off with China in the 1980s. He also participated in the Indian surgical operation against militants of the north-east in a trans-border offensive in 2015, during the Narendra Modi period. Bipin Rawat also led the surgical strike against terrorists in PoK in Modi’s first term. IHN-NN


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