Indian Army

What Are The Functions & Powers of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?

After the Kargil war, Atal Bihari’s government established a Kargil review committee. It was established to review Indian Defence and to recommend any modification needed in policies. Then only the committee recommended the post of “Chief of Defence Staff”. It took 20 long years to implement the recommendation. 


Finally, on 24 December 2019 Gen. Bipin Rawat was made the ‘Chief of Defence Staff’ for the first time. Though it was recommended to make CDS a 5-star position, it was implemented as a 4-star position just to prevent military rebellion against the government. 

Chief of Defence Staff: Gen. Bipin Rawat

Age limit for CDS is 65 years, and holds position for three years. In case, he attains age of 65 before term of 3 years , he will have to leave his office. CDS is appointed by the ‘Appointment Committee of Cabinet’ which is chaired by the Prime Minister. 

CDS holds two types of powers:

i)  Military Power: He is a primary commander of the tri-services.

ii) Bureaucratic Power: A separate department “Department of Military Affairs” under Ministry of Defence is assigned to the CDS.


  • He is responsible for the proper optimisation of the resources. As compared to the growth in our Gdp , Defence budget lacks that consistency in growth. So, CDS is appointed to properly optimise the resources availability, and to properly assign the resources needed for further development according to the need of the forces .
  • He will help in the integration of the forces, as Tri-services fall under his command. Proper integration will help the different forces to cooperate with each other and to sustainably use the time. Such as, in the case of Balakot Airstrike Air Force, had played an excellent role in the skies of Pakistan and destroyed the enemy’s stations. But, the airstrike also led the Indian Army on high alert. Under these conditions, the coordination lacks between the forces. But, CDS will help to establish proper coordination between the forces and to use the resources in the best way possible. 
Chief of Defence Staff: Gen. Bipin Rawat

However, the next two years will be very crucial for CDS. As these upcoming years will decide the future of the 4-star CDS post. Let’s hope for the best and hope that our Indian Tri-Services continue to lead the military and continue to be a nightmare for enemies.


Dipendra Singh

I had embarked myself on the path of an army officer who will live on his own terms, for a good cause and will embrace the death with glory, whenever it will arrive .

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