Setting Up of Chief of Defence Staff Post (Download PDF)

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In a significant development in the field of Defence, the Prime Minster of India on 15th Aug 2019 announced the institution of the office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This Chief of Defense Staff will be above the three service levels Army, Navy and the Airforce. This announcement from the Prime Minister is expected to bring in jointness and tri-service integration. In simple words the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will be acting as the single-point advisor to the Government of India.

Image shows Another General in the Making

Image Shows Another General in the Making

Image shows Another General in the Making


  • The first recommendation regarding the higher military reforms was made by the K. Subrahmanyam committee appointed after the Kargil conflict of 1999 to but due to lack of consensus and apprehensions, the proposal never progressed.

  • The Naresh Chandra Committee recommended the appointment of a Permanent Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) as a midway to allay apprehensions over the CDS in 2012.

  • Among the 99 recommendations made by the Lt General D. B. Shekatkar (retd) Committee, CDS was an important one.


  • The Chief of Defense Staff would help the government of India in coordinating long-term planning, procurements, training and logistics of the three services.

  • The Chief of Defense Staff will further help in optimization of resources with the use of joint planning and training.

  • The CDS will also help in avoiding duplication among the services thereby streamlining the process.

  • India Being a nuclear state, the CDS will act as the military advisor to the Prime Minister of India in nuclear related issues.

Present Context

  • At present scenario, the seniormost of the three Chiefs used to function as the Chairman of COSC.

  • The role was additional with a very short tenure.

  • The Air Chief Marshal (ACM) B. S. Dhanoa who took over as the Chairman COSC on May 31 from outgoing Navy Chief Adm Sunil Lamba will be in the role for a few months as he is set to retire on September 30.

  • On passing of baton to the Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, he will then be the seniormost.

  • Gen Rawat too is set to retire on December 31 after three years in office.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 13, 2019

Defense, Appointments

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