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New Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

  • Published
    29th Sep, 2022

The Government of India has recently appointed Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).


Who is Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan?

  • Lt Gen Chauhan is known as the ‘China expert’ who has had multiple tenures in the Eastern Command and retired as the Eastern Army Commander on 31 May, 2021.
  • Before assuming charge of the Eastern Command, the officer, who has a career spanning over nearly 40 years, was the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) during the Balakot air strike in 2019.
  • He was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981.
  • Lt Gen Chauhan was also the architect of Operation Sunrise, a joint Indo-Myanmar military operation that targeted multiple insurgent groups in the Northeast in 2019.
  • As the CDS, Lt Gen Chauhan will lead India’s theaterisation effort, with the three Services yet to sort their differences over the exact structure and command.
  • He will also be functioning as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs.
  • He will also be making a priority list of procurements that needs to be made while taking into account joint acquisitions rather than each Service following its own list.

About Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):

  • The post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in the rank of a four star General with salary and perquisites at par with a Service Chief was created in 2019.
  • The CDS is meant to be a single-point military advisor to the government, and to coordinate long-term planning, procurements, training and logistics of the three services.
  • The dual-hatted role refers to the two hats the CDS wears:
    • the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which has the three service chiefs as members
    • head of the newly created Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the ministry

Role of Chief of Defence Staff:

  • Principal Military Adviser: CDS acts as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-services matters. He is also be the military adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority (chaired by the Prime Minister), which handles India’s nuclear arsenal.
  • Department of Military Affairs’ Head:The Department of Military Affairs will also be headed by the CDS. The mandate of the Department of Military Affairs will include the following areas:
  • Promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the Services.
  • Facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources.
  • Promoting use of indigenous equipment by the Services.
  • Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee: The CDS will be the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). As a permanent chair, CDS will:
  • Administer all tri-service organisations and commands.
  • Function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • Implement the five year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan (DCAP) and the two year roll on Annual Acquisition Plans.
  • Coordinate operation, logistics, transport, training, support services communications, etc. of the three Services
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