Chief of defence staff could be reality soon: Parrikar

New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) The post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) could be a reality soon, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday.

“(It) should be,” he told reporters here when asked about the CDS post, the creation of which was recommended by a Group of Ministers in 2001.

Parrikar’s comment comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “jointness at the top” (in the armed forces) was a long-overdue need. He sought the promotion of “jointness across every level of our armed forces”.

Asked about the issues highlighted by Modi, Parrikar said: “The prime minister mentioned many things. We will submit a report soon. He has raised many issues and they are important issues.”

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said: “A decision in this regard (CDS) was to be taken after consultation with political parties. The consultation process however could not be completed because all political parties have not yet responded.”

He said the Naresh Chandra Task Force (NCTF) on National Security recommended the creation of the post of Permanent Chairman, Chief of Staff Committee, in 2012.

“Both the proposals are under government consideration,” he said.

India currently has a tri-services command headed by a three-star officer, who is junior to the service chiefs, who are all four-star officers.

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