I-DAY: PM announces Chief of Defence Staff post, pushes for population control measures, 'one-nation one-election'
In a major reform concerning higher defence management, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced the creation of a new post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for better coordination among Army, Navy and the Air Force.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 73rd Independence Day, he said the changing nature of war and technology-driven systems require the Army, Navy and Air Force to move forward together and cohesively in their modernisation efforts.
"Today when a technology-driven system is developing, it will not work to think in parts. Our entire military force has to move forward together. One is ahead in land, sea, air and the other a step behind and the third two steps behind, this will not work. The three have to move together on one plane. The coordination should be good, according to the expectation of people and according to the changing nature of war and security in the world.
"Keeping this in mind, I want to make an important announcement from the Red Fort. The experts have also been making a demand for a long time. We have decided today that we will make provision for Chief of Defence Staff. After its formation, the three forces will get effective leadership at the top," he said.
Noting that defence forces had done commendable work, he said there is a need for timely reforms in a changing world.
He said there is coordination between the Army, Navy and Air Force and the three forces also make efforts towards modernisation in their own way.
Modi said there has been a talk of reforms in the military set up for a long time with several governments in the past looking into the issue and there had been expert reports also.
"Somewhere they reflected the same tone though there may have been a minor difference," he said.
He said CDS will strengthen the work towards big reforms in the country strategic culture.
A Group of Ministers (GOM) constituted by the government in April 2000 to review the national security system and consider the recommendations of the Kargil Review Committee had recommended the creation of the institution of Chief of Defence Staff.
The Naresh Chandra Task Force (NCTF) on National Security had recommended the creation of the post of Permanent Chairman Chief of Staff Committee in 2012.
Lt. Gen (Retd) D.B. Shekatkar, who headed a committee of experts and gave its report to the Defence Ministry in 2016, has also favoured the creation of CDS with its roles and responsibilities to be decided on Indian requirements.
The CDS is expected to be a single-point military advisor to the defence minister on matters concerning the military with the three service chiefs continuing to have an operational command. It is expected to help prevent duplication of assets and bring greater synergy in the efforts of three forces.
Officials said that creation of appropriate military command structures is a complex exercise involving operational, technical, logistical and financial aspects. Political parties had been in the past consulted over the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
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