First CDS Bipin Rawat speaks on new role, his strategy
The 27th Chief of Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat, is all set to take office as India's first Chief of Defense Staff, and quite naturally the expectations from him are high. Rawat, who completed his three-year term as head of Army today, told reporters that he will form a strategy soon. He also expressed gratitude towards soldiers for supporting him. Here are more details.
First, let's tell you a bit about this new post
The post of CDS had been in the backburner for years, but gained momentum after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government would work towards it. Last week, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the post and laid down the duties. The CDS will act as a bridge between government and forces, integrate services and trim the weapons procurement process.
Will sit and plan strategy: Rawat on the new post
This morning, Rawat paid tributes at National War Memorial in Delhi, where he was questioned about his new role. "The position Chief of Army Staff has many responsibilities. Till now, I was concentrating on my obligations as Chief of Army Staff. Now that I will have a new designation, I will sit and plan a strategy for the future," 61-year-old Rawat said.
As Army Chief, Rawat witnessed several important events
As Army Chief, Rawat saw through the 73-day standoff with Chinese forces at Doklam in 2017. It was under his regime that the Pulwama attack happened. A four-wheeler, laced with explosives, rammed into a CRPF convoy on February 14, 2019, killing 40 soldiers. In fact, under him, tensions at LoC also peaked as ceasefire violations from Pakistan touched new heights.
Ex-Army chief can't give military commands
Now, as CDS, Rawat will be at the helm of affairs of the newly-formed Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Defense Ministry. DMA will handle only military-related matters whereas the Department of Defense will concern itself with larger issues of country's defense. The three defense services will come under DMA's ambit. Pertinently, Rawat will not exercise any military command.
According to Rawat, Army is better prepared for challenges
The outgoing Chief, who was given Guard of Honor, said the Army is better prepared to deal with challenges. He also thanked soldiers for performing duties diligently and keeping traditions of armed forces alive. "My special compliment to our soldiers on northern, western and eastern borders who are braving tough winter and icy winds, steadfastly in guarding our country," he said today.
Rawat conveyed best to his successor, Manoj Naravane
Earlier, US and Maldives congratulated Rawat
Rawat's appointment as the first CDS was welcomed by the United States and the Maldives. Congratulating him, the US Department of State tweeted, "The position will help catalyze greater US-India 'joint' cooperation between our militaries as discussed at recent 2+2, including through joint exercises & info sharing." Separately, Maldives' Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid said the defense partnership between both countries is "very strong".