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India’s Second Chief of Defence Staff

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October 01, 2022

Why in news?

The Government has appointed retd. Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan as the 2nd Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of the country.

What is the role of Chief of defence Staff (CDS)?

  • CDS is in the rank of a four-star General with salary and perquisites equivalent to a Service Chief.
  • The CDS is the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on all tri-Services matters.
  • He is also the Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).
  • In addition, the CDS functions as Secretary to the fifth department in the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).
  • The government has  made it explicitly clear that the CDS will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs.

How is the CDS appointed?

  • The Government in 2019, created the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and then Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat was appointed to the post.
  • The country’s first CDS General Bipin Rawat was killed in a chopper crash and the post fell vacant.
  • Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retired) is appointed as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
  • Changes in appointment - The Government amended Service Rules of the Army, Navy and Air Force for the appointment of CDS.
  • The change allows retired Service Chiefs and three star rank officers eligible for consideration to the country’s top military post.
  • It imposed an age limit that the retired officer should not have attained 62 years on the date of appointment.
  • While the tenure of Service Chiefs is 62 years of age or three years whichever is earlier, the age limit for the CDS is 65 years of age with no fixed tenure defined.

What are the challenges before the new CDS?

  • Theaterisation - The first CDS was pushing forward for reorganisation of the armed forces into integrated theatre commands to bring in synergy and efficiency.
  • Reorganisation - To bring about jointness in operations, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three Services.
  • To build consensus in this jointness and to ensure that this scheme does not alter the efficiency of the armed forces.
  • Indigenisation of weapons - The war in Ukraine has added urgency on the need to indigenise critical military technologies and systems and reduce dependence on imports.
  • This push demands a paradigm shift in defence innovation and manufacturing ecosystem and users should be afforded lateral entry into the innovation and manufacturing space.
  • Operational capability - The need to build operational capability at a pace that will ensure that the military power asymmetry
  • National Security Strategy (NSS) - Policies and doctrines are easier to evolve under the cover of clearly articulated national and military strategies.
  • The CDS has to decide on the National Security Strategy (NSS) which has divide opinions among the Services.



  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lt-general-anil-chauhan-appointed-as-new-cds/article65946805.ece
  2. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/editorials/lt-gen-chauhan-will-need-to-build-on-rawat-plan-cds-mandate-8181315/
  3. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/new-cds-must-build-a-bridge-between-a-government-in-a-hurry-and-an-organisation-resistant-to-change-8181339/
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