New Delhi, Aug 15, 2019 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a major announcement while addressing India on its 73rd Independence Day today, said a Chief of Defence Staff will be the head of the three services, NDTV reported.
"Our forces are India’s pride. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort. India will have a Chief of Defence Staff - CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective," PM Modi said in his 93-minute speech from the Red Fort.
A Chief of Defence Staff to oversee the military was first recommended by a committee set up after the Kargil war of 1999. The committee was set up to examine the lapses in security after the Kargil war which was triggered by Pakistani soldiers infiltrating into India and occupying key heights in the mountains of Kargil.
It called for a Chief of Defence Staff as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.
The concept was strongly backed by Manohar Parrikar, who was Defence Minister for two years during PM Modi’s first term.
The need for coordination between the army, navy and air force was seen during the Kargil war. After the Kargil Review Committee report, a Group of Ministers headed by then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani had explored it and recommended the post of CDS with a tri-service joint planning staff headquarters.
The recommendation did not progress over the years, reportedly because of the lack of political consensus and objections from some sections of the armed forces and the bureaucracy.