Indian Army Chief General Rawat has been appointed as first chief of defence staff (CDS), and will now head a separate department in ministry of defence named the Department of Military Affairs. His name was cleared by a committee led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning .
Rawat was instrumental in undertaking some major reforms in the army, including adopting more automation in the service. Rawat had assumed the office of army chief on 31 December 2016 and will be retiring at the end of this month after completing his three-year tenure.
Born in 1958 in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, Rawat can serve as CDS until the age of 65. The defence ministry on Sunday amended the service rules by introducing a new clause that allows the Chief of Defence Staff to serve until age 65.
Heartiest congratulations Gen Bipin Rawat as the first CDS of our military and nation. CDS integral to national security architecture, will give impetus to transform the indian military from a force to a military power in keeping with india's global leader stature.— Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia (@Ptr6Vb) December 30, 2019
General Bipin Rawat was commissioned to the Fifth Battalion, the Eleventh Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in December 1978. He commanded an Infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control (China border) in the Eastern Sector; a Rashtriya Rifles Sector; an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley; and a corps in the North East.
In a historic reform decision for India's national defence, the government on 24 December decided to create the post of CDS and to create a Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence.
“The decision to create CDS is a major step towards bringing about jointmanship between the Armed Forces,” Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Nevertheless, the notification about the creation of the post of CDS made it clear that it will not exercise any military command, including over the three service chiefs.