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Chief of Defence Staff:

GS Paper 3:

Topics covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.



Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, an Army Brigadier, and 10 others were killed when an Indian Air Force helicopter carrying them crashed into a heavily wooded area of the Coonoor ghat in the Nilgiris in western Tamil Nadu recently.

  • Investigation has begun into the cause of the crash of the Mi-17V5 helicopter, a “trusted” aircraft.


About CDS:

  • He will be the single-point military adviser to the government as suggested by the Kargil Review Committee in 1999.
  • He will be a Four-star General.
  • CDS acts as the permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee which will also have three service chiefs as members.
  • His core function will be to foster greater operational synergy between the three service branches of the Indian military and keep inter-service frictions to a minimum.



  • Not eligible to hold any Government office after demitting the office of CDS.
  • No private employment without prior approval for a period of five years after demitting the office of CDS.


Roles and functions:

  1. CDS will provide “single-point military advice”to the government, inject synergy in planning, procurements and logistics in the armed forces.
  2. It will ensure integration of land-air-sea operations through the eventual setting up of theatre commands.
  3. The CDS will also function as the military advisor to the PM-led Nuclear Command Authority,as also have direct command of tri-Service organizations to handle the new warfare domains of space and cyberspace.
  4. He will function as the Principal Military Adviser to the Defence Minister and also as the Permanent Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
  5. The CDS will be member of Defence Acquisition Council and Defence Planning Committee.


Insta Curious:

Do you know what Theatre of War & Theatre of Operations are? Read Here



Prelims Link:

  1. About CDS.
  2. Roles and functions.
  3. Powers.
  4. What are theatre commands?

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for and significance of theatre commands.

Sources: the Hindu.