COAS Gen Bipin Rawat takes charge as Chairman of COSC

Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat takes charge as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC). He received the baton of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) from outgoing Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal (ACM) BS Dhanoa, who retires on 30 September 2019. The ACM BS Dhanoa was appointed as Chairman, COSC on 31 May 2019.

Key Highlights

In the present set-up, the most senior Chief functions as Chairman COSC. Therefore, after Air Marshal RKS Bhadauria will take over as IAF Chief from outgoing ACM BS Dhanoa, Gen. Rawat will be the most senior Service Chief.

The Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) comprises chiefs of India Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force however, the senior most member is appointed its chairperson.

Mandate: Chairman of COSC is tasked with ensuring synergy among the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) as well as evolve common strategy to deal with external security challenges facing the country.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 2018 Independence Day address, announced the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will be above the three Chiefs of armed forces. This major decision was aimed at military reforms and tri-Service integration. The Chief of Defence Staff will act as single-point military adviser to government on military and strategic issues. A high-level committee (including Cabinet Secretary and Defence Secretary) has been appointed to finalise the modalities and charter of new role. The recommendations of committee are expected to be submitted to government in November 2019.

However, the present COSC is an additional role and tenures have been very short. For example- ACM Dhanoa took over as Chairman COSC on 31 May from former Navy Chief Adm Sunil Lanba. After he steps down on September 30, Gen Rawat who will take over as Chairman COSC then, is set to retire on December 31 after three years in office. However, as the most senior Chief, he is set to be the India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).




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