Discuss the key aspects of current debate on reconstituting / restructuring India's higher defence organization.

Published: May 10, 2017

The current debate on restructuring the higher defense organization of India arose out of the issue of appointment of Chief of Defense Staff (CDS). There are two views on this issue, while some consider it as an unreasonable concentration of power the other side considers as a necessity for the betterment of the defense organization. A Chief of Defense Staff is a post created as the highest authority of defence, given the duty to formulate and execute policies and programmes to the hughest attainment of national security.
Opinion against the Appointment

  • There is a fear among the political leadership that the Army will become all powerful. It may result in a military coup and the provisions of our Constitution, allowing the President with the help of Council of Ministers to control the army, will be completely eroded.
  • The other defence services also object to it as the situation will lead us back to the pre-1947 period when army was the dominant service.
  • The serving Service Chiefs fear that their authority will be completely undermined.

Opinion in Favour of Appointment

  • It is a necessity in a situation where there is a huge lack of coordination among the Indian Defence Services, which has led India to stay behind in several emergency situations.
  • The current Chiefs of Staff Committee are inefficient in performing such a function as they are bias towards their own services. This will be done away with to a great extent by this post.

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