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Day 95 – Q 3. Discuss the mandate of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)? What advantages would possibly accrue by the creation of the post of CDS? Examine.

3. Discuss the mandate of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)? What advantages would possibly accrue by the creation of the post of CDS? Examine. 

चीफ ऑफ डिफेंस स्टाफ (सीडीएस) के जनादेश पर चर्चा करें? सीडीएस के पद के सृजन से क्या फायदे होंगे? जांच करें।


The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a high military office that will oversee and coordinate the working of the three Services, and offer seamless tri-service views and single-point advice to the Executive  on long-term defence planning and management, including manpower, equipment and strategy, and above all, “jointsmanship” in operations. 

Need for Chief of Defence Staff

  • In general, the policy formulation is done by Defense Secretary, who is a bureaucrat, while its execution rests with Chiefs of armed forces. This makes defence policy incoherent.
  • The emergence of modern warfare domains like Space, Cyber etc, requires a more integrated approach to defense strategy.
  • group of ministers that was formed in 2001 to explore necessary reforms required to improve India’s national security had also favoured creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff.
  • In 2012 Naresh Chandra task force recommended the appointment of a permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee.
  • The permanent chairman of chiefs of staff committee is the senior most of the three Chiefs.
  • The CDS is also one of the 99 recommendations made by the Lt. General D.B. Shekatkar (retd.) committee (2016).


Mandate of CDS

  • CDS will administer the tri-services organisations/agencies related to Cyber and Space.
  • CDS will look into monitoring of contracts, promoting the use of indigenous equipment, leveraging of current systems and transforming them, and prioritising the procurement of defence equipment in a better way.
  • He will also assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
  • CDS will bring reforms to augment the combat capabilities of the forces and is expected to evaluate plans for ‘out of area contingencies’ for countries in India’s neighbourhood.

Advantages accrued by the creation of the post of CDS

  • With the increasing complexity of security challenges in the modern warfare arena, there was a need for an integrated approach towards defence strategy. 
  • There are communication issues, budgetary overruns by individual commands, inter-alia which demanded joint working of Army, Navy and Air Force.
  • It will ensure and promote the jointness (functioning together of the three services independently) through joint planning of command operations, logistics, transport, training, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of operation. This will ensure close cooperation and collaboration amongst the defence forces.
  • It will also inducing integration (putting together the three Services at different levels and placing them under one commander) in different services. 
  • CDS as ‘first among equals’ will act as a single point advisor and could be held accountable for his actions and decisions taken. Restructured military commands for optimal utilization of resources will avoid unnecessary duplication and wasteful expenditure.
  • The expertise and knowledge of CDS to deal with the adverse situations could be appropriately utilized in order to achieve the desired aims, creating architecture for joint commands.


This reform in the Higher Defence Management is expected to enable the Armed Forces to implement coordinated defence doctrines and procedures and go a long way in fostering jointsmanship among the three Services. 

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