Chief of Defence Staff office still in the making

New Delhi: It’s been 12 days since General Bipin Rawat was appointed India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the office of the new Department of Military Affairs (DMA) he heads as its secretary is still in the making, though its contours are now drawn and the formality remains of a gazette notification.

The plan is to have just two joint secretaries to begin with, assisted by a dozen deputy secretaries and more than 20 undersecretaries. The notification will lay down the structure of the reporting channels of the officers. The DMA will have both civilian and military personnel working under it. The defence ministry said the department would be a smaller unit to be more responsive. In the new rules of business issued by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 30, 2019, divides the responsibilities between CDS and the defence secretary. The department under CDS will look after the work of the Armed Forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force and it will handle procurement, exclusive to the services, except capital acquisitions.

The CDS will promote jointness in procurement, training and staffing of the services through joint planning and integration of their requirements. His task is to facilitate the restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of the resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including establishment of joint/theatre commands. He is also to promote use of indigenous equipment by the services.

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