Chief of Defence Staff holds key to modernisation of forces

India has carried out a major structural reform of its defence services with the appointment of Gen Bipin Rawat as the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff. The move finally implements recommendations made following the Kargil War aimed at strengthening national security but which had failed to find political consensus. The CDS’s job will be to bring convergence in the functioning of the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted out his congratulations to Gen Rawat, who was appointed to the CDS role just a day before he was set to retire as army chief. Modi underlined the importance of the CDS position, saying it carries the “tremendous responsibility of modernising our military forces.”

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