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India’s first CDS to be named Dec 26, Gen Bipin Rawat tops race

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New Delhi, Dec 24, 2019-

The government, which cleared the formation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on Tuesday, is likely to announce the first holder of the post on December 26, sources said.

Sources said that the government is considering appointing serving Indian Army chief, Gen Bipin Rawat as India’s first CDS, the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-services matters. The decision would be taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

General Rawat, who was commissioned into 11 Gorkha Rifles on December 16, 1978, is slated to demit office as Army chief on December 31 on retirement from service.

On December 16, the government announced that Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, who is currently the Army’s Vice Chief, will be the next army chief after Gen Rawat retires.

The second in race is Navy chief, Admiral Karambir Singh.

Earlier, the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force had recommended to the Defence Ministry names of their senior-most commanders for the position of CDS which is being created to enhance synergy among the three services.

Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Modi, approved the CDS’ post and its charter and duties. The CDS will be a 4-star general officer who will head the new Department of Military Affairs.

ALSO READ: Union cabinet gives nod to CDS, its charter, duties

“He will be drawing a salary equivalent to service chiefs, and will head the Department of Military Affairs to be created under the Ministry of Defence. He will function as its Secretary,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a briefing on the Cabinet decisions.

The CDS will have all the powers like other secretaries, including financial.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh hailed the Union Cabinet’s decision to approve the CDS post and its charter and duties, calling it an “historic and major” decision towards bringing about jointmanship between the armed forces. “In a historic decision for ushering in reforms in the higher defence management in the country, the government has decided to create a post of Chief of Defence Staff and to create a Department of Military Affairs, within the Ministry of Defence (MoD),” Singh tweeted.

The three service chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective forces.  (Agency)

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