New Delhi: General Bipin Rawat on January 1 assumed office of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and he would be the Principal Military Advisor to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on all Tri-Services matters.
He will also head Department of Military Affairs (DMA). The CDS will have a key role in ensuring optimum utilisation of allocated budget, usher in more synergy in procurement, training and operations of the Services through joint planning and integration. The CDS will facilitate indigenisation of weapons and equipment to the maximum extent possible while formulating the overall defence acquisition plan for the three Services.
“We stay far away from politics, very far,” he told media after taking charge and that “we work according to directions by the government in power.”
General Rawat came in for criticism for taking a public stand against CAA protests.
“The CDS is mandated to facilitate integration, ensure best economical use of resources allocated to the Armed Forces and bring uniformity in the procurement procedure. I want to assure you that the Army, Navy and Air Force will work as a team and the CDS will ensure integration among these,” he said.
General Rawat’s appointment comes within months of the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 from the ramparts of the Red Fort that the country would have a CDS.
A Committee chaired by the National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval was set up to recommend the broad parameters for the post of CDS.
General Rawat paid tributes at the National War Memorial and received a guard of honour.
Earlier, he inspected the Tri-Service Guard of Honour at the South Block lawns. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria and Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Mukund Naravane were also present on the occasion. General Rawat also laid wreath and paid homage to the martyrs at the National War Memorial.
Former Chief of the Army Staff General Rawat is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington; Higher Command, National Defence College. He also attended the Command and General Staff Course at Fort Leavenworth in the United States.
During his distinguished career in the Army, General Rawat commanded an Infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, a Rashtriya Rifles Sector, an Infantry Division in the Kashmir Valley and a Corps in the North East. General Rawat had also commanded a Multinational Brigade in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As an Army Commander, he commanded a theatre of operations along the Western Front and was appointed the Vice Chief of the Army Staff before assuming office of Chief of the Army Staff.
During the span of over 41 years in the Army, General Rawat has been awarded several gallantry and distinguished service awards.