Why has India's top military post been vacant for almost five months after the death of General Bipin Rawat?

Nearly five months after the death of India's first Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat in a helicopter crash, no appointment has been made to his post. On December 8 last year, a Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying CDS General Rawat, his wife Madhulika and other military officers was on board while taking off for Wellington from Silver Air Force Base in Coimbatore, South India. It crashed in Connor, Nadu. A few days after the accident, a debate started over who would be India's next CDS. Some reports have said that the central government has started the process of appointing the next CDS and a list of potential candidates will be prepared and submitted to Home Minister Rajnath Singh soon. Some recent reports have suggested that the list the government is considering for the next CDS includes heads of all three services and a dozen senior officers. Meanwhile, there is speculation that the government may consider both serving and retired military officers for the next CDS appointment. But almost five months after the death of General Bipin Rawat, his successor has not yet been chosen.
From the review committee formed after the Kargil war in 1999, several other committees had proposed the establishment of the post of Army Integrated Theater Command and Chief of Defense Staff. In his Independence Day address from Delhi's Red Fort on August 15, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the ongoing debate on improving the country's military system, military strength and military resources, and the formation of the post of Chief of Defense Staff. It was announced that this would provide effective leadership to all the three armed forces at the highest level. General Bipin Rawat took charge in January 2020 as India's first CDS. He was to coordinate and coordinate the work of the three Army, Navy and Indian Air Force in order to increase the overall military strength of the country. In the role of CDS, Rawat also served as Secretary, Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Ministry of Defense and Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense. General Rawat, as head CDS, is credited with initiating far-reaching reforms in the Indian Army. General Rawat's role is considered important in laying the groundwork for India's Joint Theater Command and promoting the increased use of local military equipment. CDS post required The question that is often asked is, what is the need for the post of Chief of Defense Staff when the heads of the three forces are present? Retired General VP Malik has been the Chief of Army Staff of India. He was the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army during the 1999 Kargil War. He says: "The position was recommended by the Armed Forces, even by the Cargill Review Committee and the 2002 Group of Ministers report. It took 20 years for the post to be approved. Given the nature of this position today in times of war and conflict, it is needed. According to General Malik, CDS is an important position. "CDS is available in more than 70 countries," he said. It is already too late to make this post. And now the delay in filling it is incomprehensible. Why the delay? The government has to show its intention to whom it wants. But now it's all up to the government. " How important is this delay? Lieutenant General DS Hooda has retired as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army's Northern Command. He was the Army Commander during the Surgical Strike in September 2016. "It was one of the biggest reforms the government has ever had," he said. The position of CDS has been discussed since the time of Kargil Review Committee. So it was a big step. And the three services had to be further integrated. General Rawat was talking about the Integrated Theater Command and he was pushing it a lot. For many years there has been talk of creating a united command in India, but it gained momentum when General Bipin Rawat was appointed CDS in January 2020. Rawat's main responsibilities as CDS are to coordinate transport, delivery, training, ancillary services, liaison, repair and maintenance operations across the three forces and to ensure proper utilization of infrastructure resources between the forces. Promote better use. The process of reform and restructuring According to Lt. Gen. Hooda, delays in filling the CDS post are delaying the entire reform process. "There is a need for reform, restructuring and reconciliation," he said. And without CDS, the whole process is being delayed. " There is a lot of talk about creating an integrated theater command because the Indian Air Force is not enthusiastic about it. Lt. Gen. Hooda says the CDS was going through all these reforms and reorganizations. If there is no one above, there will definitely be a delay until the appointment of a new CDS. General Malik also believes that there is an urgent need to reorganize the army and create an integrated theater command. He says: "Therefore, whatever CDS Rawat was doing in this direction is being delayed. It is important that we fill this position so that whatever work is started will continue and so that people do not go back to their old, familiar foundations and start working in silo again. " General Malik said that the idea behind the formation of the CDS was that we should abolish the system of working separately and all parts of the army should work together. He says: "Now there will be a delay in the implementation of this thinking. That is why I want this post to be filled immediately so that whatever General Rawat did can be carried forward. " Unavailability of suitable candidate? The delay in appointing the new CDS has fueled speculation as to whether the government is finding it difficult to find a suitable candidate. Lt. Gen. Hooda says the delay is giving the wrong signal. He says: "It simply came to our notice then. Don't we have talent, don't we have leadership to select someone as CDS? That's not a good sign. " When we asked General Malik if the reason for the delay was the government's inability to find a suitable candidate for the post, he said: "I do not think there should be a reason for this. I don't know from a political point of view but from a professional point of view I think anyone who has been the head or deputy head before him can be qualified for this position. There is also speculation that the military bureaucracy is not keen on filling the post because it sees it as a violation of its jurisdiction. General Malik says that I am not in a position to say this but the fact is that once the political power has accepted this position then there is no point in any resistance. Lt. Gen. Hooda, on the other hand, says, “This is possible because we know that the appointment of CDS was a high-level appointment. It was set up directly by the Prime Minister. Yes, the bureaucracy may object to the role of the Ministry of Defense in this. The whole process may need to be reconsidered. That could be one of the reasons for the delay. "
Impact on India's military readiness Will this delay affect India's military readiness if an important post like CDS remains vacant for so long? "If you look at the role of the CDS, they were not responsible for the operation," said Lt. Gen. Hooda. The responsibility for the operation rested with the heads of the three forces. I don't see any major impact on the operational level, except that CDS was the single point adviser to the Minister of Defense. He says the big problem is that the Indian Army needs to be reorganized and reformed to meet future challenges. However, he says, "and this issue is being delayed. I do not see any immediate effect on the LAC (China-India border) situation or the way the insurgency is being dealt with. Raghuvendra Rao Correspondent BBC, Delhi https:// www.bbc.com /urdu/regional-61694492

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