General Bipin Rawat to be first Chief of Defence Staff
By Our Correspondent, 31/12/2019, New Delhi

Former Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will be the country's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). CDS will function as a single-point Adviser to the government on matters related to the military and will focus on better synergy between the Army, Air Force and the Navy. General Rawat retired as Army Chief today. AIR correspondent reports, the Defence Ministry had recently amended the Army, Air Force and Navy rules by bringing in a new clause that allows the Chief of Defence Staff to serve up to a maximum age of 65 years.

CDS will also bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services aimed at augmenting combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.General Rawat will serve in the rank of a four-star General with salary and perquisites equivalent to a Service Chief. He will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary. 

He will act as the Principal Military Adviser to Defence Minister on all tri-services matters. However, the three Chiefs will continue to advise Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective services. With this, India has now joined countries like United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Spain to have its own CDS.Outgoing Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today thanked all the army personnel and their families for extending full support to him in his three-year tenure. After a farewell Guard of Honour in New Delhi, General Rawat also hoped that the Army will rise to greater heights under the new chief Lt Gen Manoj Naravane.

He conveyed his best wishes to Lt General Naravane who will be assuming the office as the 28th Army chief today. General Rawat further said the Indian Army is now better prepared to face the security challenges facing the country. Meanwhile United States has congratulated General Bipin Rawat on his appointment as India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The US State Department said, the position of CDS would help catalyze greater US-India joint cooperation between the militaries of two countries. US's Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster personally congratulated General Rawat in a tweet saying he is looking forward to more productive discussions on ways to advance the US-India defense partnership.The creation of the CDS post was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech this year.

Many other countries have the same post with the same or a different name. In the Unites Kingdom, the CDS post was created in 1959 to reflect the new concept of joint operations. It is the professional head of the British Armed Forces and the most senior uniformed military adviser to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Chief of the Defence Staff of Italy refers to the Chiefs of the Defence Staff of the Italian Armed Forces. This post was created on in May 1925 and Pietro Badoglio was the first person to hold it.The Chief of the Defence Staff in Spain, is the highest-ranking military officer in the Spanish Armed Forces.Apart from these countries, China, Canada and Japan also have similar or equivalent post.