Government announces maximum age of CDS, Rawat likely for the post
Ahead of the appointment of India's first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a notification has been issued by the government that mentions a maximum age of the serving officer as 65.
The government had cleared the appointment of CDS on December 24 this year. Though, the government has not made any official announcement on the name of India's first CDS, speculations are that army chief general Bipin Rawat would take up the post. His term as the army chief will end on December 31. “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…for such period or periods as it may deem necessary subject to maximum age of 65 years,” said the notification, which comes under the Army (Amendment Rules) 2019.
It puts CDS on a par with the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Chief Election Commissioner and the Central Vigilance Commissioner in terms of retirement age. The three service chiefs end their term after three years of service or when they turn 62, whichever is earlier.
The appointed CDS would be of four star grades like the other three Army chief. Defence Ministry in a statement revealed that the functions assigned to the CDS would include “bringing about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance of the three services within three years of the first CDS assuming office.”
The government, however, said that the CDS will not have powers to exercise any military command. It is expected that the person holding the post will be a first among equals, also because he will be senior to all the other chiefs in terms of service.
If Bipin Rawat manages to get the post of CDS then his serving tenure will be limited to 3 years and 3 months.
“As new structures are coming up with the appointment of the CDS, a longer tenure till the age of 65 will give him stability and continuity to fulfil his mandate,” said Lt General Satish Dua (retd), who was the senior-most military officer handling all tri-service affairs until November 2018.