Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane assume the charge as Head of CDS

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Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane has assumed the charge as the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as a stop-gap arrangement to fill the vacant post following the death of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat in the IAF helicopter crash on December 8, officials familiar with the development said. 

After the tragic and untimely death of the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Gen Naravane has been given the charge as the chairman of the committee as he is the senior-most among the three service chiefs. Moreover, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had taken over their respective positions on September 30 and November 30.

Bipin Rawat who served as the Chief of Defence Staff was the first CDS officer and was appointed on January 1, 2020. The army chief stepped down as the Army chief after three years of tenure and before he turned 62, his tenure as CDS was till March 2023. The required age limit that the person should have for the CDS post is 65 years with no fixed tenure defined.

The CDS wears several hats which entails several positions including Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) in the Defence Ministry, permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the Principal Advisor to the Defence Minister.

The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee used to be the senior-most among the three service chiefs before the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). In the chopper crash General Rawat along with his wife Madhulika Rawat, his defence assistant Brigadier LS Lidder, staff officer Lt Col Harjinder Singh, and ten others succumbed to death. 

The Chief of Staff Committee met on Tuesday and condoled the death of Gen Rawat, his wife Madhulika, and 11 armed forces personnel.

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