New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The sudden demise of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu has sent shockwaves across India. A single-point advisor on Defence matters to the Defence Minister, the Chief of Defence Staff is the senior most and highest ranking uniformed officer on active duty in the Indian military.

It’s because of this indispensable role of Chief of Defence Staff into theatrisation of Indian Defence forces, that the post of Chief of Defence Staff cannot remain vacated for long, after incapacitation of the current CDS due to reasons such as sudden death.

According to a News18 report, the Chief of Defence Staff post is likely to be filled in next seven to ten days. The rules say that any Commanding officers or flag officers of the armed forces are eligible for the position. In the immediate succession (which is not necessarily the rule or convention), Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna is the current Vice Chief of Defence Staff.

The reports have also claimed that in the meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday evening, that had Prime Minister Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in attendance, the deliberations on the name of next CDS also took place.

How important is the Chief of Defence Staff?

The Chief of Defence Staff ensures the jointness and synergy between the three services of armed forces. The CDS heads the Integrated Defence Staff, comprising representatives from the three services.
The CDS also heads all tri-services institutions such as the National Defence Academy in Pune, College of Defence Management in Secunderabad and the National Defence College in Delhi.

The CDS is also a member of the Defence Acquisition Council headed by the Defence Minister and the Defence Planning Committee headed by the National Security Adviser.

The CDS is military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority, which handles India’s nuclear arsenal. The CDS also evaluates the plans for ‘out of area contingencies’ for countries in India’s neighbourhood to take care of India’s National Interests at all times.

Cremation of the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and his wife is scheduled to take place on Friday (December 10) in Delhi Cantonment. They are survived by their two daughters, Kritika and Tarini.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma