Bipin Rawat set to take over as India's first CDS

India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat poses for photographs after inspecting the Guard of Honour at South Block lawns in New Delhi

The stage is set for Gen Bipin Rawat to take over as India's first Chief of Defence Staff on Wednesday with the Centre notifying the new Department of Military Affairs under the Defence Ministry that would be headed by him for the next three years.

The government has also released new peak cap, shoulder rank badge, car flag, belt buckles and working dress buttons for the CDS, who would keep the baton for the Chairman to the Chief of Staff Committee for being the permanent chairman of the panel. The CDS has also been allowed to don his parent uniform.

An office in the South Block has been allocated for the CDS.

According to the December 30 notification, two key tasks of the CDS would be (1) facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through the establishment of joint/ theatre commands and (2) promoting the use of indigenous equipment by the Services.

India currently has 18 commands distributed between the three Services – Army (7), IAF (7) and Navy (4) – besides the Strategic Forces Command, which is a tri-service institution. The multiplicity of command not only adds to the cost of running the military but also make inter-service coordination a complex issue during a conflict situation.

The other branches of the Defence Ministry that would come under the new department (Sainya Karya Vibhag in Hindi) headed by the CDS are (1) the armed forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, (2) Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (3) Territorial Army (4) Works related to Army, Navy, Air Force (5) procurement exclusive to the Services except for capital acquisition and (6) promoting jointness in procurement, training and staffing.

The Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 have been suitably modified for the new department and CDS to function.

The day-to-day operations of the three Services, as well as their capital procurement, will remain outside the purview of the CDS though he would be a member of the Defence Acquisition Committee that decides on every big-ticket procurement in the ministry.

"Till now, I was concentrating on my obligations as Chief of the Army Staff. Now that I will have a new designation, I will sit and plan a strategy for the future," Gen Rawat told reporters on Tuesday after paying his tribute at the National War Memorial in Delhi.

The Centre on Monday announced Gen Rawat name as India's first CDS, who as the head of the Department of Military Affairs is expected to usher in a string of reforms in India's higher defence management.

What adorns the Defence chief

The symbols of all the tri-services—the sword of the Army, the anchor of the navy and the eagle of the Air force—below the national emblem: The lion Capital of Ashoka surrounded by an oak-leaf wreath.


 In this combo photo, (extreme left) shoulder rank badges; (top row, from left) car flag and peak cap; (bottom row, from left) buttons on working dress and belt buckle, of the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Bipin Rawat are seen. PTI

This symbol will glean on the belt buckle, car flag, peak cap and buttons on the working uniform of the new Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.

While the peak cap also has a band with the army's colour (Maroon), the car flag has the national flag apart from the unique symbol.

On the shoulder rank badges, a half-ring of lotuses will surround the symbols of all the three military services.

Additional Directorate General of Public Information Indian Army tweeted saying, "Chief of the Defence Staff #CDS on assumption of appointment will have his office in South Block. #CDS shall have parent Service uniform. Rank badges & accoutrements of #CDS reflect #Jointness #Integration #Synergy"

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