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Friday, May 19, 2023

All You Need To Know About India’s General No 1 Concept


Hello, Budding Warriors! India’s General number 1 talks have been in the headlines for a while now with the defence ministry giving its nod for one common 5-star military leader for all wings of the Indian armed forces. The General number 1 will act as the chief of defence staff- the chief of all the wings of the armed forces.

With these in view, following is something, which we, as defence aspirants must know about the General Number 1 concept in India:

  1. It all started in 2005 when Pranab Mukherjee was the Defence Minister. All the Service Chiefs has unanimously raised the demand for a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) but also endorsed the need for CDS to have full operational powers over all the Armed forces.
  2. Though work started on some of the other issues, the actual implementation of CDS was kept pending for want of political consensus. In 2004 the UPA Government was elected to power and as usual the Babudom straddling the MOD used this as an opportunity to create mischief. As a result even 19 years later the work is still in progress.Indian-Defence-All-Chief
  3. India needs the CDS- General Number 1 to
  • Provide single-point military advice to the government;
  • Better manage country’s strategic resources and nuclear arsenal;
  • Bring synergy among Army, Navy and Air Force by resolving inter-service doctrinal, planning, procurement and operational issues;
  • Integrate the Services Headquarters with MoD.
  1. These include the development of Indian nuclear deterrence, higher defence management including CDS, Intelligence sector reforms, border management, defence budget, use of air power, integrated manpower policy and defence procurement.
  2. At least, 70 countries including US, UK, France, Germany and Australia have CDS like post for integration of military operations and planning. Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in US and CDS in France are highest ranking military officer and principal military adviser to the President of their country. In US, the Theatre Commanders report directly to the political leadership.
  3. The decision is ostensibly follow up of the Naresh Chandra Committee that had recommended such an appointment amongst many other recommendations that are yet to be implemented.
  4. Appointing a CDS, as recommended by the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) and Group of Ministers (GoM) was never implemented attributing it to lack of political consensus. Political consensus in any case was a farce with India having over 1,750 political parties.
  5. Currently, we have a COSC (Chiefs of Service Committee) with the senior-most Service Chief performing duties of its Chairman. The COSC has the full-fledged HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) for all the planning that is required.

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