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 joint-ness 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