In a major announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that India will now have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will oversee the three forces – Army, Navy and Air Force.

Making the big announcement from the ramparts of the Red Fort as India celebrates its 73rd Independence Day, PM Modi said security forces are the nation’s pride and to enhance coordination between them, a Chief of Defence Staff would be created.

“This is going to make the forces even more strong,” he added.

The appointment of a CDS has been a long-pending issue with the defence ministry attending to it with a sense of urgency.

A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil war in 1999 had called for appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.

A group of ministers analysing required reforms in the national security system had also favoured appointing a chief of defence staff.

However, successive governments were unable to take a call on the sensitive issue.

In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task force had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

The CoSC comprises chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most among them acts as its chairman as per existing norm.