January 4, 2017 7:57:08 pm
Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat on Wednesday supported the creation of a post of ‘Chief of Defence Staff’ saying integration among the three services and with the Defence Ministry is mportant. He also spoke about Lt Gen Parveen Bakshi, who was superseded by him and is currently on a month-long leave, saying the support extended by him was positive. Gen Rawat refused to get into the issue of ranks when told that the post of CDS is likely to be a five-star rank, which will be above the three service chiefs. “I would not like to comment on the rank structure of CDS but I would say that integration among three services and of the services with Ministry of Defence is important,” he told media.
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If one is able to integrate, he said, the forces will be able to improve procurement procedure. “We would be able to also ensure that we have common logistics, and of course jointmanship will lead to better conduct of operations,” he said.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to meet Prime Ministry Narendra Modi shortly to take forward the plans on the creation of the post of CDS. The CDS will be a single-point military advisor to the defence minister on military matters. If it is a five-star post, he will have authority over the three chiefs but the chiefs will be over all responsible for the functioning of their individual forces.
The post of CDS was recommended in 2001 following a review of the the national security system in the aftermath of the Kargil War. The recommendation, if implemented, would be the first major military reform by the Narendra Modi government, which has already announced significant changes in the procurement process.
Speaking about Lt Gen Bakshi, the army chief said both have been “brothers in arms” and have served together. “Of course he was my senior and we have broken bread together. And I find that there has been no change, whatsoever, in the nature of support he has been extending to me after my announcement as Chief of Army Staff,” Gen Rawat said.
He added that the Eastern Army Commander is on leave for personal reasons. “As far as the kind of support he has extended, it has been very positive,” he said.
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