Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated General Bipin Rawat after the top Army officer took charge as India's first Chief of Defence Staff, who will work to integrate the three branches of the military and improve coordination.
"I am delighted that as we begin the new year and new decade, India gets its first Chief of Defence Staff in General Bipin Rawat. I congratulate him and wish him the very best for this responsibility. He is an outstanding officer who has served India with great zeal," PM Modi tweeted.
"On 15th August 2019, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I announced that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This institution carries tremendous responsibility of modernizing our military forces. It would also reflect the hopes and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians," he said.
On 15th August 2019, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I announced that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This institution carries tremendous responsibility of modernizing our military forces. It would also reflect the hopes and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 1, 2020
General Rawat told reporters today his focus would be to ensure best use of resources allocated to the three branches of the armed force. "We will work as a team," General Rawat said.
General Rawat passed on the Army chief's baton to General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday. In his new role, General Rawat is tasked with trimming weapons procurement procedures, besides acting as the principal military advisor to the Defence Minister on tri-service matters. He will also head the Department of Military Affairs and be paid a salary equivalent to a service chief.
"Creation of the Department of Military Affairs with requisite military expertise and institutionalisation of the post of CDS is a momentous and comprehensive reform that will help our country face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare," PM Modi tweeted. "As the first CDS takes charge, I pay homage to all those who have served and laid down their lives for our nation. I recall the valiant personnel who fought in Kargil, after which many discussions on reforming our military began, leading to today's historic development," he said.