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New CDS will be appointed soon: Rajnath

This defence minister’s statement comes six months after Gen Bipin Rawat, India’s first CDS, died in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

The new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be appointed soon, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

“The appointment of the CDS will be made soon. The process for it is underway,” he said at a media briefing here at which the “Agnipath” recruitment scheme for the armed forces was rolled out.

This defence minister’s statement comes six months after Gen Bipin Rawat, India’s first CDS, died in a helicopter crash in December 2021.

The government last week amended service rules of the armed forces, making all serving and recently retired three-star officers — Lt General, Air Marshal and Vice Admiral — under the age of 62 eligible for the post of CDS. The new rules mean that the recently retired chiefs of services will not be considered.

The CDS is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals — the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.

A key mandate of the CDS is to facilitate the restructuring of the military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of theatre commands.