After approving the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff or CDS, the government today amended rules, putting a cap on the age limit for the post to 65 years, according to a notification released by the Defence Ministry. The Chief of Defence Staff will serve as the single point of contact for the different branches of the armed forces and will also be the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-service matters. However, the CDS will not exercise any military command over the three service chiefs.
The notification also says the amendments to the age limit and tenure for the post have been made in the Army Rules, 1954.
The CDS would be a four-star general from either the Indian Army, Air Force or Navy and would be paid a salary equivalent to that of a service chief, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had earlier said.
The Chief of Defence Staff has been described as ‘first among equals’ among the service chief and will be tasked with trimming weapons procurement procedures and integrating the operation of the armed forces.
The post of CDS to oversee the military was first recommended by a committee created after the 1999 Kargil War. The committee was set up to examine lapses in security after the war which was triggered by Pakistani soldiers infiltrating into India and occupying key positions in the mountains of Kargil.
The position was then announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech earlier this year.
“Our forces are India’s pride. To further sharpen coordination between forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort. India will have a Chief of Defence Staff – CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective,” PM Modi had said.