Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday said that the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff will be made soon.
This comes six months after General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, died in a helicopter crash in December 2021. Now the government has amended service rules of the armed forces, making all serving and recently retired three-star officers — Lt General, Air Marshal and Vice Admiral — under the age of 62 eligible for the post of CDS, according to notifications brought out by the government.
The new rules mean that the recently retired chiefs of services will not be considered. The amendments also indicate that an announcement on the new CDS is imminent.
The CDS is the most senior uniformed officer in rank, the first among equals — the only four-star officers in the country are the CDS, the chiefs of the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
But according to the new rules, all three-star and four-star officers from the three services, including those who retired in the last two years, will be eligible for consideration. The government, however, has put an age limit of 62 years. Since service chiefs retire at the age of 62, the three service chiefs who retired in quick succession since September 2021 are ruled out.
General Bipin Rawat, the first CDS, died in a helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021. Appointed on December 31, 2019, he was to have a three-year tenure until the end of this year.