The Department of Military Affairs (DMA) headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat as its secretary will have another secretary under the CDS, one additional secretary and five joint secretaries. The DMA will not just look at jointness between the forces, but almost all work related to the Army, Air Force, Navy and the Territorial Army and will also handle the promotions within the forces.
“Prioritisation of what is to be acquired” even in capital acquisitions “will be with the CDS”, said Major General Mukesh Aggarwal, the Defence Advisor to the CDS.
He said although the DMA has been given powers for revenue acquisitions, even for capital acquisitions, the CDS will have the powers of prioritisation. He said “almost all service related matters have been taken away” from the Department of Defence in the Defence Ministry and given to the DMA. For diplomacy too, while defence diplomacy will continue to be with the Department of Defence, military diplomacy will be handled by the DMA.
The CDS along with his secretariat officer will have “dual hatting”, which means they will work with the services and act as bureaucrats. The only other officer who will perform similar roles will be the other secretary, who will be under the CDS, and will handle transformation and coordination.
There will be an additional secretary for DMA who will be a uniformed, three-star officer. The five joint secretaries though, will not be under the additional secretary.
The five joint secretaries will include three uniformed two-star officers representing Army, Navy and Air Force and will look after their respective services. However, the three joint secretaries will also look at larger issues for all the three services, like the Joint Secretary, Navy will also look at defence staff and the Joint Secretary, Air Force will be responsible for staff duties. “Each joint secretary will look at issues of all services,” Aggarwal said.
The other two joint secretaries, who will not be from the services, will look after coordination, legal vigilance and establishment.
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