Outgoing Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, who has been appointed as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), said the Indian Army is better equipped to take on challenges from enemies and that he will now plan a new strategy for his fresh role.
Rawat, who received his farewell Guard of Honour as the Army Chief today, said, “Today as I demit the office of Chief of Army staff, I wish to convey my gratitude to the soldiers, rank, and file of Indian Army who stood steadfast under challenging circumstances.”
When asked if the Indian Army is better equipped to take on enemies positioned in border areas, he said, “Yes, they are better prepared.”
Rawat also conveyed best wishes to Lieutenant General Manoj Mukund Naravane who will be assuming office as the 28th Army Chief.
When asked to elaborate on his new role, Rawat said he will “sit and plan a strategy” for it. For now, Rawat wants to fulfill his role as Chief of Army Staff till he hands over responsibilities to Lt General Naravane, who is currently serving as the Vice-Chief of the Army staff.
“Till now, I was concentrating on my obligations as Chief of Army Staff. Now that I will have a new designation, I will sit and plan a strategy for future. I will fulfill my role as Chief of Army Staff till the handover.”
General Bipin Rawat will take over as the new CDS after retiring as Army Chief today. As CDS, Rawat will assume a key role where he will be the single point of contact for the government.
The CDS will also be the “first among equals” with respect to the three service chiefs, all four-star officers themselves who will retain the operational command of their respective forces.
The government said that the CDS will head the newly established Department of Military Affairs within the Ministry of Defence. Among the areas the CDS will focus on will be promoting jointness in procurement, training, staffing and the restructuring of military commands for optimal utilisation of resources.
It is widely expected that the Chief of Defence Staff will be able to better synergise the operations of the three armed forces — the Army, Navy and the Air Force — and reduce wasteful expenditure by better coordinating the procurement plans of the three services.