Government appoints 2 joint secretaries, 13 deputies to assist CDS

The newly-created department of military affairs, headed by the chief of defence staff (CDS), will be staffed with two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 25 under secretaries, a government official said on condition of anonymity, adding that the officers would be a mix of civilians and uniformed personnel.

The new department, under CDS General Bipin Rawat, is an addition to the four existing verticals in the defence ministry: the departments of defence, defence production, defence research and development, and ex-service welfare. As CDS, Rawat is the principal military adviser to the defence minister on all matters related to the tri-services.

He took over as the country’s first CDS on December 31.

In his first official directive after taking over as CDS, Rawat last week asked top officials of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff to prepare a proposal to create an Air Defence command to enhance military synergy and optimally utilise the resources of the armed forces. Rawat has set a June 30 deadline for the proposal to be submitted.

In the last few days, he held series of meetings with important functionaries of the defence ministry and the three services exploring ways to bring in inter-service synergy and jointness in a time bound manner.

The government expects the CDS to bring about jointness among the three services within three years.

He is expected to prepare an annual report for the defence minister on achievements in improving jointness.

One of the key objectives behind so-called jointmanship is the setting up of joint or theatre commands for the best use of military resources to fight future battles. While the army and the navy have been open to the idea, the Indian Air Force has concerns about theaterisation.

The new department will also work towards promoting the use of indigenous equipment by the services at a time when the armed forces are heavily dependent on imported military hardware.

“The creation of the new posts is a step towards achieving the ultimate goal of bringing in tri-services synergy. The department needs to have officers who understand cross-service issues and are well versed in government procedures,” said Lieutenant General Satish Dua (retd), a leading expert on issues related to the tri-services.

By: Hindustan Times

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