The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be the Principal Military Advisor to the Defence Minister on all-tri service matters and the military advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority, the government told Rajya Sabha on Monday.
The government was responding to various questions regarding the functions of the CDS and the newly created Department of Military Affairs, which is headed by the CDS as secretary.
The government said the CDS is tasked with bringing jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services. The CDS will also be a member of Defence Acquisition Council.
The government also said the CDS will be appointed by the government from “among the serving officers of the three Services” — Army, Navy and Air Force — and “holding the three or four-star General or equivalent, if necessary, through deep selection”.
The government said the CDS is a “four-star General with salary and perquisites at par with Service Chiefs” and will not “be eligible to hold any Government office after demitting the office of CDS”. After demitting office, the CDS cannot “take up any private employment without prior approval of Government of India for the period of 5 years after”, the government said.
Regarding the job of DMA, the government said the three services and the territorial army have been allocated to it, along with the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence comprising Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Air Headquarters and Defence Staff Headquarters. It will also make all procurement exclusive to the services except capital acquisitions and will promote jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the services through joint planning and integration of their requirements, said the government.
The government said that about 160 civilian officers and staff have been transferred from Department of Defence to DMA.
In response to another question, the government stated that there are vacancies for 6,867 officers and 36,517 JCOs in the Army. In Navy, 1,500 officer posts and 15,590 sailor positions are vacant. In the Air Force, there are vacancies for 425 officers and 10,425 airmen.
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