The government has appointed General MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff, as the Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (Chairman, CoSC), the post which fell vacant after the sudden demise of the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash on December 8.
A source on Wednesday confirmed: “General Naravane has taken over the role of the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, which includes the Chiefs of Navy and Air Force Staff too.” General Naravane is the senior-most chief of the Staff.
Important issues related to the armed forces are handled by this committee. With the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in December 2019, General Rawat as the CDS had become the first permanent CoSC. CDS is the fourth and permanent member of the CoSC.
The old practice entailed that the senior-most officer among the three services was taking over as the Chairman, CoSC. “The Armed Forces have a clear line of command and role for every position to remove any ambiguity. Since there is no name announced for the post of CDS, this is just a stopgap arrangement.” sources in the defence establishment said.
The CDS also heads the department of military affairs as its secretary. In the absence of CDS, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, Air Marshal Balabhadra Radha Krishna will report to General Naravane, said the sources adding he will be the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff.