Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the appointment of the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) will be made soon and that the process for it is underway.
This comes six months after India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, died in a helicopter crash in December 2021. According to government notifications, the government has amended service rules for the armed forces, making all serving and recently retired three-star officers — Lt General, Air Marshal, and Vice Admiral — under the age of 62 eligible for the post of CDS.
The newly retired chiefs of services will not be considered under the new rules. The amendments also suggest that an announcement on the new CDS is on the way.
However, under the new rules, all three- and four-star officers from the three services will be eligible for consideration, including those who retired within the last two years. The government, on the other hand, has imposed a 62-year-old age limit. Because service chiefs are required to retire at the age of 62, the three service chiefs who retired in quick succession since September 2021 are ruled out.
General Rawat took charge as India’s first CDS on January 1, 2020, with a mandate to bring convergence in the functioning of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force and bolster the country’s overall military prowess.
On December 8, 2021, General Bipin Rawat, the first CDS, died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu. He was appointed on December 31, 2019, with a three-year term ending at the end of this year.