'Process to select next CDS has begun, name to be announced soon'

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the government is proceeding with the exercise to find the successor of the deceased Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat.

“The process to select the next CDS has begun and the name will be announced soon.” Singh added. The Defence Minister said this while talking to the media on the sidelines of Awards ceremony for Excellence 2021 on the occasion of 96th Raising Day of Directorate General Defence Estates.

The post of the senior most uniformed officer of the country fell vacant due to the untimely demise of General Bipin Rawat in a IAF chopper crash on December 8 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. While, of the 10 passengers and four crew members 13 had died on the day of accident Group Captain Varun Singh succumbed to his injuries on December 15 in Command Hospital Bengaluru.

As first reported by The New Indian Express, General MM Naravane has been entrusted with the charge of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee. With the creation of the CDS, the incumbent will become the permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee.

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The post of CDS is important as it was created after a long wait in December 2019 and as the first CDS, General Rawat had initiated major reforms and reorganisation of higher defence management of the country.

Of the many duties and functions of the CDS, a few are — to head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defence and function as its secretary, to act as the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all Tri-Service matters.

Sources informed that Lt Gen Anil Puri, Additional Secretary in DMA is handling the officiating charge of the Secretary DMA and the current CISC, who is designated Deputy CDS under the CDS, Air Marshal BR Krishna is functioning as the Deputy CDS and will be reporting to General Naravane.

General Rawat had initiated restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands.

DMA is the fifth Department of the Ministry of Defence. The other four departments are the Department of Defence, Defence Production, Ex Servicemen Welfare, Defence Research and Development Organisation.