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Internal Security

Chief of Defence Staff

  • 16 Aug 2019
  • 3 min read

The Prime Minister has announced the establishment of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for the three services – the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.

  • The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that will act as the single-point advisor to the Government of India.
  • It will synergise long term planning, procurement, training and logistics of the three Services, and ensure better coordination between them.
  • The creation of a CDS to act as a single point military adviser to the Prime Minister on strategic issues was one of the key recommendations of the Kargil review committee on higher military reforms after the 1999 conflict.

Need for Chief of Defence Staff

  • Incoherency: In general, the policy formulation is done by Defense Secretary, who is a bureaucrat, while its execution rests with Chiefs of armed forces. This makes defence policy incoherent.
  • Modern Warfare: The emergence of modern warfare domains like Space, Cyber etc, requires a more integrated approach to defense strategy.
  • A group of ministers that was formed in 2001 to explore necessary reforms required to improve India's national security had also favoured creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
  • In 2012 Naresh Chandra task force recommended the appointment of a permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee.
    • The permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee is the senior most of the three Chiefs.
  • The CDS is also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar (retd.) committee (2016).


  • The creation of the CDS will eventually lead to the formation of tri-service theatre commands intended to create vertical integration of the three forces.
  • This is expected to save money by avoiding duplication between the Services, at a time of shrinking capital expenditure within the defence budget.
  • It will help India in Defense diplomacy.

Source: TH

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