New Delhi: The frontrunner of the post has formally got it. Chief of Army Staff (CaOS) General Bipin Rawat is India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The announcement came early on December 30, just a day before he retires after completing his full 3-year term as the CoAS. The CDS will function as a single point advisor to the Prime Minister on the issues related to defence, he will also head the newly established Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence. The CDS will be able to better synergise the operations of the three armed forces, the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and reduce wasteful expenditure by better coordinating the procurement plans of the three services, which was recommended by the committee that reviewed military’s performance post Kargil war.
Chief of Army Staff
The government had formally established the post of Chief of Defence Staff on December 24 only. The government released the charter and duties of the CDS which said that the post of CDS would be occupied by a four-star officer from the Indian Army, Indian Navy or the Indian Air Force. However, a couple of days later the government amended the rules of the Army, Navy and the Air Force to allow a Chief of Defence Staff to serve until the age of 65. The age of retirement for a four-star officer in any of these services currently is after either completing three years in office or once they reach the age of 62, whichever is earlier.
About the General
General Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC is the 27th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. He is also the current chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. Son of Lieutenant-General Laxman Singh Rawat (Retd.) Gen Rawat, whose family has been serving in the Indian Army for multiple generations, was born in Pauri, Uttarakhand. Gen Rawat attended Cambrian Hall School, Dehradun and the St Edwards School in Shimla. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. He was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ at IMA.
Gen Rawat is also a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From his tenure at the DSSC, he has an MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from Madras University. In 2011, he was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy by Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut for his research on military media strategic studies.