Appointment of Chief of Defence Staff A Much Needed Reform- Parrikar



India might soon have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) according to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. His statement came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the jointness at the top as a long pending need. Though the recommendation for CDS was put forward by a Group of Ministers in 2001, it has not bore fruit.

“Should be,” Parrikar told reporters here when asked if the post of a CDS could be a reality soon.

The minister said that Defence Ministry will also submit a report on the issues that the Prime Minister has raised during the annual Combined Commanders Conference held in Kochi. “Prime Minister has mentioned many things. We will be submitting a report on that soon. He has raised many issues and they are important issues,” he said.

According to reports, the post of CDS is likely to be a four star one and the incumbent would be the strategic command-in charge of nuclear weapons and that of the upcoming cyber and space command, along with being in charge of the tri-services at Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If implemented, this would be a big step in a series of military reforms undertaken by the NDA government after coming to power in 2014.

Regarding the lag in carrying out reforms, Mr. Parrikar said there is a need to reduce the tooth to tail ratio and to promote a jointness across every level of armed forces. “We wear different colours, but we serve the same cause and bear the same flag. Jointness at the top is a need that is long overdue,”┬áhe said.

On asking about the concerns in military about the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations, the defence minister said due attention shall be paid in addressing their concerns.