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August 23, 2019

Indian army chief to get 3-year extension

National

August 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Indian Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Bipin Rawat will get three- year extension in his service on attaining superannuation in December this year as he will capture the office of first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India, a slot being created by Indian government.

An Indian analyst Snehesh Alex Philip has pointed out in his report appeared in The Wire that it is being widely speculated that incumbent Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will hold the post of India’s first CDS. According to report, General Rawat is seen as somebody with vast experience in counter-insurgency operations in the northeast and in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK).

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is the front-runner to become India’s first CDS, the new position announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his country’s Independence Day last week.

It is viewed as the biggest defence reform in that country. The move will pave the way for an integrated military, with the CDS being the prime minister’s point person on national defence issues. It is not yet clear whether the new CDS will be a five-star General or a four-star who is first among equals since the service chiefs are four-star officers. It is also not clear whether the CDS will be at par with or above the Cabinet Secretary, the senior-most civil servant in the country. Sources said in all likelihood, the two posts would be at par. The CDS will act as the sole adviser to the government on all the three services. While exact modalities are yet to be firmed up or made public, sources said all procurement matters will come under the CDS, as will budgetary allocation for the three services. “The modernisation process will be driven by the CDS.

The picture will be clear once the Indian prime minister approves the modalities,” a source said. The CDS post was first recommended after the 1999 Kargil conflict to ensure better coordination between the three services. Currently, major countries like the US, France, the UK and China all have a Chief of Defence Staff.

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