The General – who is serving a rare full three year term as the Army Chief after he superseded two officers in 2016 – is likely to get a term of over two years as the Chief of Defence Staff, which will largely see the creation of a new structure.
However, the top officer is unlikely to shed his uniform anytime soon, with the decks being cleared for General Bipin Rawat to take over as the first Chief of Defence Staff – a four star position being created as part of a defence management overhaul.
General Bipin Rawat– who is serving a rare full three year term as the Indian Army Chief after he superseded two officers in 2016 – is likely to get a term of over two years as the CDS, which will largely see the creation of a new structure to provide military advise to the government and implement joint procurement by the three services.
The appointment of a new CDS is expected to be announced in December.
Sources have confirmed that a committee tasked to draw out the role, responsibilities and powers of the CDS has submitted its report, which is to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). The recommendation includes creation of a post senior to the current service chiefs with an age limit of 64 years.
As reported by Economic Times, the government had tasked National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to head the committee for the setting up of a new position that was announced by PM Narendra Modi at his Independence Day address. While joint operations and tri-services commands are likely to be overseen by the CDS, the top officer is set to be heavily involved in procurement of military equipment as well.
Given the shrinking capital budget of the defence ministry, this role will determine immediate procurement cycles for the three forces.