NEW DELHI: India on Monday named Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as its first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Indian media reported.
Rawat, currently India’s army chief, is set to retire on December 31 (tomorrow).
The CDS will be a four-star general and principal military advisor to the defence minister. The position-holder will head the newly-constituted department of military affairs which is tasked to ensure “jointness in training, logistics and procurement of the three services” i.e. army, navy and air force.
The news site said that India’s defence ministry recently amended the army, navy and air force rules by bringing in a clause that allows CDS to serve up to the maximum age of 65. The existing rules state that an army chief has a three-year tenure or up to the age of 62.
The move comes amid high tensions within the Indian territory due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s controversial decisions including the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution which provided special autonomy to Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India has also imposed an information and communication blackout in the occupied region, and more recently passed the anti-Muslim Citizens Amendment Act 2019.
The situation along the Line of Control with Pakistan is also tumultuous with multiple ceasefire violations from the Indian sides.