The government has created a Department of Military Affairs in the Defence Ministry and it will be headed by newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, according to an official order issued on Tuesday.
General Rawat, who completed a three-year tenure as Army Chief, was on Monday named as the country's first CDS.
The new department will have under it works relating to the three forces -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- and procurement exclusive to the services, except capital acquisitions, according to prevalent rules and procedures, the order said.
It said the department will ensure the facilitation of restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about "jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint and theatre commands".
It will also ensure "jointness in procurement, training and staffing for the services through joint planning and integration of their requirements", the order said.
Besides this, the department is tasked with promoting use of indigenous equipment by the services, it said.
President Ram Nath Kovind approved changes in the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, and following this, the department was set up.
With the latest changes, the Defence Ministry will have five departments under it and these are the Department of Defence, the Department of Military Affairs, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defence Research and Development, and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare, the order said.
The Department of Military Affairs will have an integrated headquarters of the Defence Ministry comprising of the Army headquarters, the Naval headquarters, the Air headquarters, the Defence Staff headquarters, and the Territorial Army.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on December 24, approved creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
"The Chief of Defence Staff will also head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), to be created within the Ministry of Defence and function as its secretary," an official statement had said.