Government taking fresh look on appointing Chief of Defence Staff


The government is considering appointing a chief of defence staff (CDS) as head of the tri- services with a sense of urgency, defence ministry sources said today.

They said government was revisiting the long-pending issue, indicating that a clear picture may emerge soon. The defence ministry is attending to it with a sense of urgency, the sources said.

A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil war in 1999 had called for appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.

A group of ministers analysing required reforms in the national security system had also favoured appointing a chief of defence staff.

However, successive governments were unable to take a call on the sensitive issue. “Several steps have to be taken before the appointment (of the CDS),” a source said.

In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task force had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. The CoSC comprises chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most among them acts as its chairman as per existing norm.