bipin rawat

General Bipin Rawat takes charge as the first Chief of Defense in India’s new Department of Military Affairs. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI (IANS) — The Ministry of Defense has transferred 60 officers to the newly-created Department of Military Affairs which is headed by country's first Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat.

The Jan. 13 transfer order accessed by IANS stated, "The officers are hereby transferred from the Department of Defence to the newly created Department of Military Affairs with immediate effect."

A total of 13 deputy secretaries, 25 under secretaries and 22 section officers were transferred to the DMA.

The order with respect to transfer of two joint secretaries in the department has not been issued so far. The order stated: "The orders in respect of Joint Secretaries and supporting staff will be issued separately."

The DMA got formal structure Jan. 10 after creation of posts for two joint secretaries, 13 deputy secretaries and 22 under secretaries and 22 section officers. They will assist the Chief of Defense Staff to carry out his responsibilities.

General Rawat's task is to push the three Services to truly integrate in planning, procurement, logistics, doctrines and training. The CDS would provides single-point military advice to the government as well as function as the military advisor to the Prime Minister-led Nuclear Command Authority.

Though the three Service chiefs will retain full operational control over their forces, the CDS will clearly be the "first among equals" in the hierarchy.

At present, India has as many as 17 single-Service commands, with each force reluctant to give up its command. India has only one joint command that is in the Andaman and Nicobar Command.

The DMA will be the fifth department in the Ministry of Defense. The existing ones are the Department of Defence, the Department of Defence Production, the Department of Defense Research and Development and the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

The DMA deals with the armed forces; the integrated headquarters of the Ministry of Defence, comprising the Army, Navy, the Air Force, defence staff headquarters and the Territorial Army.

After taking charge as CDS, General Rawat's first directive to his tri-service integrated defence staff was to prepare a plan for the creation of an Air Defence Command and common logistics support pools for the armed forces.

The proposal for the ADC should be prepared by June 30, said General Rawat, while also setting out the priorities for execution of synergy among the armed forces in different arenas in a time-bound manner by Dec. 31.

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