Why India needs a CDS? Find out from Ex-Army Vice Chief on India Ahead’s Call of Duty
Call of Duty is a a series started by the channel on matters related to defence
India Ahead has started a series on matters related to defence, Call of Duty. In the first episode of the series former Vice Chief Of Army Staff Lieutenant General Philip Campose (Retd) spoke about the need to have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
The post of CDS was created in January 2020. General Bipin Rawat was India’s first CDS. He passed away in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu in last December last year.
Talking about the role of the CDS, Campose said the post of CDS is meant to optimise operational and administrative functioning of the Indian military. The primary functions of the CDS relate to enhancing joint functioning of the three wings of the military and integrated capability development of the three services.
“The importance of having a CDS as the country’s highest-ranking military officer lies in the crucial role he is required to play as the formal ‘one point’ source of advice to the government on operational and administrative matters pertaining to the military. He is also responsible for integrating the resources of the three Armed Forces , i.e. the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to meet operational and administrative ends, and in modernising their equipment needs, through inter-se prioritisation for capital procurement, in times of shrinking budgets and burgeoning revenue expenditure,” said
“The post of CDS, or its equivalent, have been in existence in all modern militaries of the world for a long time now – the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff in the United States has been in existence since 1949 and the CDS in the United Kingdom since 1959. China, Russia, France, Germany and even Pakistan have their equivalent posts, though their roles vary, depending on a number of factors, most importantly, the political structure of the country,” he said further.
However, in India, the need for the post of CDS, was first visualised only in 1999 by the Kargil Review Committee under K Subrahmaniam. The committee analysed the shortfalls in the military’s operational functioning, especially problems in jointness between the Army and Air Force during the Kargil conflict of 1999.”
“The CDS, as implemented in the Indian military for the last two years, is of a General or an equivalent rank. The post is considered the senior-most, in fact, the ‘first among equals’ in the four-man Chiefs of Staff Committee, which is required to take decisions on important matters relating to the Indian Armed Forces. The other three members of this Committee are the Chiefs of the three Services – the Army, Navy and Air Force.
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