As a stop-gap arrangement before the appointment of a new Chief of Defence Staff following the demise of General Bipin Rawat, the Centre has placed in an old system and appointed Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.
The old system was in practice before creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff two years ago.
The practice was that the senior-most Chief would take over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and would be responsible for synergy between the Army, Navy and Air Force. He would look after the better coordination and co-operative practices among the three services.
Old system was brought in following the death of General Bipin Rawat. He along with wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 armed personnel were killed in a military chopper crash on December 8 at Coonoor in Tamil Nadu. Lone survivor Group Captain Varun Singh succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday (December 15).
The chopper crashed when General Rawat was on his way to Wellington for a lecture.
The post of CDS was created in 2019 on the recommendations of a committee of defence experts headed by Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar.
The government after creating the post had stated that the CDS will head the Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence.
It had also stated that the CDS will also be the permanent chairman of the existing Chiefs of Staff Committee and a member of the Defence Acquisition Council and the Defence Planning Committee.
The CDS has a responsibility for coordination among the three services in equipment and arms procurement, training and staffing.
This should help bring about better synergy between the forces and to prioritise requirements and optimise the use of resources, especially at a time the military budget is shrinking. The CDS functions as the single point of military advice to the government.