As the Cabinet Committee on Security led by PM Narendra Modi met on Wednesday evening, sources said the government is likely to soon announce Army chief General MM Naravane as the successor to General Bipin Rawat for the CDS position after his untimely passing.
Naravane is considered to be the frontrunner for the CDS post, with IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar having taken over the reins of their forces on September 30 and November 30, respectively.
There was no official word on the CCS meeting. However, members observed two minutes of silence and paid tributes to all those who lost their lives in the ill-fated Mi-17 V5 crash on Wednesday afternoon.
As per the new military rules, a CDS can serve till the age of 65. The three Service chiefs have a tenure till 62 or for three years, whichever is earlier. General Naravane is slated to retire in April next year.
A senior officer spoke to TOI of the challenges ahead for the next CDS. He pointed at the border confrontations with China and “the entire question of integrating the Army, Navy and IAF into theatre commands as well as ushering in the much-required synergy among them in terms of procurements, planning, logistics, training and doctrines.”
“Gen Rawat had kicked off the entire process but his untimely demise has left the work unfinished,” he added. Gen Rawat wore three hats: the CDS, the permanent chairman of the chiefs of staff committee and secretary of the newly created department of military affairs in the defence ministry.
(With inputs from TOI)