Appointment Of Chief Of Defence Staff: A Historic Decision
India Strategic|September 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rousing Independence Day address delivered from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort covered many issues relating to reforms and development in India.
Sujan R. Chinoy

Among the several key announcements made by the prime minister was the creation of the post of chief of defence staff (CDS), which he described as “a very important and compelling task”. Lauding the role of the army, navy and the air force, he added that the institution of CDS would provide a better direction for higher defence management.

The decision to appoint CDS is an important milestone in india's quest for complete integration of its defence forces; a significant step towards seamless coordination, better efficiency and greater effectiveness of the national defence architecture in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

The Modi government has been bold and far-sighted in dealing with the subject of integration. It may be recalled that the first and only tri-service theatre andaman and nicobar command (ANC) and the headquarters integrated defence staff (HQ IDS) were also the creation of a bjp-led government in 2001. In 2018, prime minister modi took additional steps toward further integration by establishing agencies for space and cyber, as also the special operations division under chairman, chiefs of staff committee, which until now has been a largely ceremonial post held by the senior-most service chief by rotation.

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