The cabinet committee on security (CCS) has approved the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post that will function as a single point of contact for different branches of the armed forces and as a military adviser to the government. The CDS, described as 'first among equals' among service chiefs, will also be tasked with trimming weapons procurement procedures and integrating the operation of the armed forces. The post will have a fixed term that has yet to be determined. All P-5 nations - the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - have equivalent posts.
Addressing the media this evening Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the CDS would be a four-star general - from either the Army, the Air Force or the Navy - who will also head the Department of Military Affairs and be paid a salary equal to a service chief.
In the present structure, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee is Chief of Army Staff Bipin Rawat. However, he does not function in the capacity of a CDS.