- The central government can prolong the tenure of serving CDS "for such duration as it may deem appropriate subject to a maximum age of 65 years
- The CDS is the Minister of Defence's main military adviser, chairs the Indian Armed Forces
The Ministry of Defence published a gazette notification on June 7 to change laws relating to the nomination of the chief of defence staff (CDS), a position that has been vacant since General Bipin Rawat’s death in a chopper crash last year.
Officers serving at the rank of “Lieutenant General equivalent or General equivalent” or officers who have retired in the position of Lt General or General but “had not attained the age of 62 years on the date of appointment” may be considered for appointment as CDS, according to the government.
All three wings of the armed services have had their regulations changed. All air force personnel “functioning as Air Marshal or Air Chief Marshal,” or those who have retired at either of these posts, will be eligible for nomination as the CDS, according to the defence ministry.
The central government can prolong the tenure of serving CDS “for such duration as it may deem appropriate subject to a maximum age of 65 years” if it deems it necessary in the public interest, according to the notification.
On December 24, 2019, the highest-ranking uniformed officer, the chief of defence staff, was created. The CDS is the Minister of Defence’s main military adviser, chairs the Indian Armed Forces’ Chiefs of Staff Committee, and oversees the activities of the three wings of the armed forces.
General Rawat, the former army leader, was the first person to be named as the CDS. On December 9, 2021, he died after a Mi-17V5 military helicopter carrying him, his wife, and 11 other passengers crashed near Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.