Centre creates new Department of Military Affairs, to be headed by Chief of Defence Staff General Rawat


Newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat will head Department of Military Affairs, a new department created by the Centre. It is learnt that the Department of Military Affairs will have under it works relating to the three forces – Army, Navy and Air Force.

General Rawat was named India’s first CDS on Monday (December 30) just a day before he was to retire from service after completing a full three-year term as the Chief of Army Staff. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on December 24, approved the CDS post and its charter and duties.

As per the charter and duties of the CDS, General Rawat will act as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister on tri-services matters. The three service chiefs will continue to advise the Defence Minister on matters exclusively concerning their respective forces.

In its notification dated December 28, the Defence Ministry had stated that Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) or tri-services chief will be able to serve till the age of 65 years. “Provided that the Central Government may, if considered necessary, in public interest, so to do, give extension of service to the Chief of Defence Staff, referred to in the Explanation to clause (a) of sub rule (5), for such period or periods, as it may deem necessary subject to maximum age of 65 years.”

General Rawat is an alumnus of the St. Edward School in Shimla, the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. According to his profile on the Indian Army’s website, General Rawat has commanded an infantry battalion along the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Sector, an infantry division in the Kashmir Valley and a corps in the Northeast.

Lt Gen Rawat had received the Sword of Honour at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, and had over 10 years of hands-on experience in counter-insurgency operations, and that he’d served at both the Line of Control (with Pakistan) and the Line of Actual Control (with China).