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Government to Appoint Chief of Defence Staff to Consolidate Defence Might of Country

The decisions on issues of war and peace deserved to be taken through an arrangement that brought the voice of the defence chiefs directly

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Government, Defence, Staff
A helpful factor in the implementation of the CDS idea is the successful working of the Chiefs of Staff Committee over years with a rotational chairmanship that produced a tradition of consensual thinking on defence and security -- I saw this during my association with COSC. Pixabay

The announcement by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 that the government had decided to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to consolidate the defence might of the country, is in tune with the Modi regime’s consistent effort to build India as a world power that would play a meaningful role in both economic development and security at the global level.

It addresses the logical requirement of bringing defence forces and the nuclear, cyber and space domains under one umbrella of strategic planning, takes forward the concept of integrated combat on land, air and sea in today’s world — which, for India, is extremely important considering the hostile Sino-Pak military alliance against us — and makes way for a new level of coordination that would achieve speedy, cost effective and futuristic defence acquisitions, manpower development and strategic deployment.

A helpful factor in the implementation of the CDS idea is the successful working of the Chiefs of Staff Committee over years with a rotational chairmanship that produced a tradition of consensual thinking on defence and security — I saw this during my association with COSC as JIC Chairman. The decisions on issues of war and peace deserved to be taken through an arrangement that brought the voice of the defence chiefs directly to the political executive governing the sovereign nation. The Prime Minister has in his rule constantly worked for elimination of red tape, speedy decision-making and coordinated execution of projects and schemes that had been announced.

Taking into account the security challenges for India, it is easy to envisage the role of the Army as the pivot of our defence responses with the air force rendering it tactical support and the navy ensuring a strategic backing in the event of a war-like conflict developing outside of our shores. CDS will steer the Strategic Command while using the combined wisdom of our defence chiefs in handling the various theatres of war. The new step will prove extremely rewarding in terms of the rapid consolidation of our defence potential that it will ensure the old world prejudices earlier voiced by bureaucracy do not hold any more.

Government, Defence, Staff
It addresses the logical requirement of bringing defence forces and the nuclear, cyber and space domains under one umbrella of strategic planning, takes forward the concept of integrated combat on land, air and sea. Pixabay

Post Cold War, the world has transited to an era of proxy wars, cross-border conflicts and insurgencies instigated by assertion of sub national identity. Terrorism is the new instrument of proxy war as the covert offensives are replacing open warfare. National governments are having to fight the adversaries on their own soil — this is bringing in the Army to take on cross-border terrorists operating at the behest of the external enemy. India is the prime example of a country facing a proxy war unleashed by the hostile neighbour — Pakistan — through the heavily armed Mujahideen infiltrated from across the border specially in Kashmir.

For combating this Kashmir Jehad, India has had to induct the Army which, in turn, had to specially train the troops to take on the terrorists on our home ground. The army is attuned to facing a visible enemy and using the maximum force. The rise of terrorism was a challenge for it for the reason that the terrorists could spring from their hideouts existing in the midst of the civilian population and yet the army had to put them down with restraint as the counter-terror operation had to ensure minimal collateral damage.

CDS will have on his hands the work of preparing India for dealing with an external enemy, strategising for proxy wars and raising special forces to take on terrorists on our own soil. An attack like 26/11 — there are Intelligence reports about a further terror offensive from the sea — would need involvement of Navy and Coast Guard just as further surgical strikes across our borders to destroy the base camps of terrorists needed joint planning of army and air force for readying paratroopers.

Mountain warfare, of which Kargil proved to be the first testing ground, is now a part of India’s strategic planning resting on the use of both the army and air force. Defence of Indian Ocean and security of the Indo-Pacific maritime region are new elements in the charter of India’s CDS. Coordination between civilian Intelligence agencies and the chief of Defence Intelligence would achieve greater perfection under the CDS. The structural and operational consolidation for maximising India’s defence and security potential is therefore not coming a day too soon.

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Multiple writings on the proposed CDS from defence experts have focused on three imperatives of the new experiment in the Indian context — first, whether CDS will be the boss of the defence forces with five stars, secondly, will the new chief be totally impartial in dealing with the army, air force and navy and, lastly, if on issues of war the CDS will have his way with the political leadership? The answer is that even with four stars, CDS will be the principal interlocutor with the national government on all issues of defence development and organisation, that the chiefs of staff experiment had worked for long years creating a grid of understanding amongst the three services and that CDS would be like an elevated Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Both Defence Planning Committee and the National Security Council provide the CDS with an interface with the Prime Minister. And finally, in regard to decision-making in a war-like situation, the vital thing is that the input from CDS is fully weighed in even though the decision would lay with the political executive exercising the sovereign power of the democratic nation. On the whole, there is a case for early implementation of the CDS idea to strengthen our defence. (IANS)

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Our Government is Working To Eliminate Tuberculosis From The Country by 2025: Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan

He said to achieve the goal, the government's programme 'Mission Indradhanush' is already operational

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Harsh Vardhan
Referring to the Union Government's Ayushman Bharat scheme, Dr. Harsh Vardhan called it an "ambitious programme", under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022. Wikimedia Commons

The central government is working to eradicate tuberculosis from India by 2015 besides taking active measures to eliminate diseases like kala-azar and measles from the country, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday.

“By 2025, we wish to eliminate tuberculosis from India. We have taken up an amibitious universal immunisation programme delivered to 100 per cent people all over the country,” the minister told mediapersons on the sidelines of the Rotary India Centennial Summit here.

He said to achieve the goal, the government’s programme ‘Mission Indradhanush’ is already operational.

“We are also working for the elimination of many other diseases in the country like Kala-azar and measles,” the minister said.

Tuberculosis
Here are Symptoms associated with Tuberculosis. Wikimedia Commons

Refering to the Union government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme, he called it an “ambitious programme”, under which 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres will be set up across India by the end of 2022.

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“So far, 30,000 are being set up and by March-end we will have around 40,000 centres”, he said. (IANS)