India amends rules for appointment of CDS, widens selection pool

Edited By: Nikhil Pandey
NEW DELHI Updated: Jun 08, 2022, 02:17 PM(IST)

India's first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Any serving or retired Lt General, Air Marshal and Vice Admiral under the age of 62 years will be eligible for appointment to the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) with the government effecting changes to the rules to widen the selection pool for the position.

The rules for appointment to the post of Chief of Defence Staff, which has been vacant since General Bipin Rawat's death, have been changed to make army officers of the rank of Lt. General and above, as well as their equivalents in the Navy and Air Force, serving or retired, eligible for the position, as long as they have not reached a certain age limit.

The Central government, in exercise of powers conferred by the appropriate sections of the Army Act, 1950, the Navy Act, 1957, and the Air Force Act, 1950, makes the following rules further to amend the existing rules of the three services, according to a government notification issued by the Defence Ministry. The rules will come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.

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According to the Army Rules, "an officer serving as Lieutenant General or General or an officer who has retired in the rank of Lieutenant General or General but has not attained the age of sixty-two years on the date of his appointment" may be appointed as the CDS if the "Central Government may, if considered necessary, in the public interest, so to do."

It also says that "provided that the Central Government may, if considered necessary, in the public interest, so to do, extend the service of the Chief of Defence Staff for such period as it may deem necessary, subject to a maximum age of sixty-five years". 

Similarly, "an officer serving as Vice Admiral or Admiral, or an officer who has retired in the rank of Vice Admiral or Admiral but has not attained the age of sixty-two years on the date of his appointment" in the Navy and "an officer serving as Air Marshal or Air Chief Marshal, or an officer who has retired in the rank of Air Marshal or Air Chief Marshal but has not attained the age of sixty-two years on the date of his appointment" in the Air Force may be considered.

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