Gen Naravane to be Chairman CoSC till government finds a replacement for CDS
Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane, the senior-most officer among the three services, has taken over as the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee.
With the demise of first Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, the system is back to the old practice for the moment. The senior-most officer among the three services has taken over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee. Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane being the senior-most among the services chiefs has taken over the mantle till the time the government appoints the CDS.
This is being done to have clear command and control over the three forces. In the absence of CDS, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna will report to Gen Naravane. The Chief of Integrated Defence Staff functions as deputy CDS. Since there is no name announced for the post of CDS, a stopgap arrangement has been made, sources in the defence establishment said, adding that it is a procedural step that the senior-most chief assumes charges as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee.
However, the work of secretary in the Department of Military Affairs is being looked by Additional Secretary Lt Gen Anil Puri. Lt Gen Puri is the second senior-most officer in the DMA. The old system comes into place after the untimely death of General Bipin Rawat in an Indian Air Force helicopter crash in Coonoor of Tamil Nadu on December 8. Gen Rawat was killed along with his wife Madhulika Rawat, his personal staff comprising defence assistant Brig LS Lidder, staff officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh and 11 others, including the helicopter crew. The lone survivor was Defence Services Staff College Directing Officer Group Captain Varun Singh but he also succumbed on December 15.
As per the mandate, the DMA plays a crucial role in bringing jointness in procurement, training, posting and staffing for the services through joint planning and integration of their requirements. The CDS deals with the administrative issues of tri-services while the chiefs continue to head the operations for their respective services.