General Bipin Rawat death: New CDS appointment in 7-10 days
After the sudden demise of General Bipin Rawat in a military chopper crash, the Centre is seeking to appoint a new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) soon. The CDS position will be filled in the next seven to 10 days, said reports citing top sources. Notably, General Rawat had taken charge as India's first CDS in January 2020.
- CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife, and 11 other personnel died in a chopper crash Wednesday near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
- The post of CDS now sits vacant.
- The position carries significance as it aligns India's move towards a uniform command system.
- It was created in 2019 to allow the integration of strategy, capabilities, and execution across the three defense services—army, navy, and air force.
Any commanding officers or flag officers of the armed forces are eligible for the position. The upper age limit for the post is 65 years. Eligible officers should be a four-star General or an equivalent rank in the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. A three-star officer is also eligible, but they must be eligible to become a four-star officer.
The main challenge for the government in appointing a new CDS is likely the fact that there is no precedent. General Rawat was the first person to be appointed CDS. There are no formal rules for CDS selection.
Following the tragedy, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) met Wednesday During the meeting, members were briefed about the chopper crash, and the appointment of the new CDS was also discussed. The members had also expressed condolences over the tragic fatalities. Notably, the meeting was attended by almost all top ministers of the Modi cabinet.
Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane is the senior-most officer in the armed forces after General Rawat. The two other service chiefs—Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary and Indian Navy's Admiral R Hari Kumar—are relatively new in their position.
Modi had announced the creation of the CDS during his 2019 Independence Day address in line with the idea of a uniform command system. The idea for such a post can be traced back to a 2001 recommendation by a Group of Ministers studying the Kargil Review Committee (1999) report. The CDS serves as the point-person between the government and the three defense services.