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Defense - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore


What’s in news?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will have a post of Chief of Defence staff (CDS) on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day speech.

Key data:

  • Chief of Defence Staff will be the head of the three services.
  • He is a four-star officer of either the Army, Navy or Air Force.
  • CDS will integrate the operations of the three forces – the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.
  • CDS will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India (Prime Minister) on long term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment strategy and jointsmanship in operations.
  • Single point of contact between the armed forces and the Prime Minister
  • CDS could control the Strategic Force, Andaman and Nicobar Command, the futuristic Special Forces, Cyber and Space Commands, the National Defence University and Coast Guard and nuclear set up.
  • CDS would play in fostering inter-services jointness in terms of budgeting, equipment purchases, training, joint doctrines and planning of military operations-an imperative of modern warfare.

Why India did not have CDS until now?

  • India has feeble equivalent – chairman, chiefs of staff committee (CoSC)
  • Senior most among the three service chiefs is appointed as head of CoSC
  • CoSC is left over from the colonial era, with only minor changes carried out over the years.

Why CDS was needed?

  • To render single-point military advice to the government on matters of national security.
  • For a robust and cost-efficient national defence policy-
  • India is the only country in the world, where the Secretary of Department of Defence – has been made responsible for ‘the Defence of India.
  • Most countries with advanced militaries have such a post (Eg. Chairman joint chiefs of staff committee of US)

Recommendation for CDS:

  • The recommendation for creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was first made after the 1999 Kargil War.
  • A high-level committee that was set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security recommended that the three services should have a Chief of Defence Staff.
  • In 2001, a group of ministers that was formed to explore necessary reforms required to improve India’s national security had also favoured creating the post of CDS.
  • In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force recommended that post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) should be created.
  • The recommendation did not progress over the years, reportedly because of the lack of political consensus and objections from some sections of the armed forces and the bureaucracy.


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