Chandigarh, August 16: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder, an ex-soldier in the Indian Army, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Chief of Defence Staff for the country as a vital step in strengthening and streamlining the command structure for the country’s defence services.
Hailing the central government’s decision as the fulfilment of a long-pending demand, first mooted by the then UPA government in the wake of the Kargil war, the Chief Minister said the move would go a long way in improving the command and control system of the Indian armed forces.
Captain Amarinder recalled that a CDS was suggested, back in 2009 by the Naresh Chandra Committee under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), as the Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). The decision, however, then could not be implemented even though it was felt that such a post would bring in more effective coordination and cohesiveness in the armed forces.
With the CDS to coordinate them, the three defence services, viz the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the Indian armed forces would become more integrated, thus enhancing their effectiveness, said the Chief Minister. The CDS is envisaged as a single-point advisor to the Government of India in matters relating to the defence services, thus acting as a professional body to advise the government in matters of national security.
Given India’s security environment and the threats it faces, the role of such an individual would become even more critical in the years ahead, said Captain Amarinder. The CDS will oversee and prioritise the requirements of the defence forces, which would further augment their professionalism, he said, pointing out that given the size and complexity of these forces, a single control unit had become a necessity rather than an option for India.