Published: 29th September 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: Who is Lt Gen Anil Chauhan, India's new Chief of Defence Staff? What's special about his appointment?
Congratulations have been pouring in from across India for the new CDS. Here's all you need to know about the person and the post
Heard about the death of the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat? Yes, that was unfortunate. Speculated about who is going to take his place? The speculations have now ended.
India will get a new CDS, as announced on Wednesday, September 28. But actually, the appointment is not new. What does this mean? Read on to find out how this new-or not so new-appointment has scripted history.
What is so special about the new CDS appointment?
The Government announced that it was appointing Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan (Retired) as the new CDS. Lt Gen Chauhan was serving as the Chief of the Army. After he retired in May 2021, Gen Bipin Rawat took over the post and became the first CDS of India.
Now, this is the first time in the country's military history that a retired officer returned to uniform after a period of time to serve as its most senior officer. And the announcement has put an end to the deliberations on the post lying vacant for so long.
Why is Lt Gen Chauhan well-known?
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Lt Gen Chauhan is known for his extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in J&K and the Northeast. He has also written two books, the first being Aftermath of a Nuclear Attack, which was published in 2010, and the second book being Military Geography of India’s Northern Borders, which he has recently completed.
Lt Gen Chauhan has earned many medals in his career, including the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Uttam Yudh Seva Medal (UYSM). He has also served on a United Nations mission to Angola, along with various other achievements. Lt Gen Chauhan is currently 61 years old.
What are the duties of the CDS?
The office of the CDS was created with the aim of improving coordination, tri-service effectiveness and the overall integration of the combat capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces, according to Wikipedia. However, in addition to these duties, the Ministry of Defence in a statement said that Chauhan "shall also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs, with effect from the date of his assumption of charge and until further orders."
What are people saying?
"My heartiest congratulations to Lt. General Anil Chauhan ji (Retired) on being appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff (#CDS) of India. I wish you a successful tenure ahead in the service of Bharat Mata! #JaiHind," tweeted Minister of Power Thongam Biswajit Singh from Manipur.
"My congratulations to Lt. General (Retd.) Anil Chauhan Ji on being appointed as the new Chief of Defence Staff. With his distinguished and illustrious service record in the force, I am sure he will provide the required leadership to the armed forces of New India," tweeted Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
As CDS, Chauhan will automatically become a four-star officer. New rules announced by the Government in June 2022 stated that the service of CDS can be extended to 65 years. This means that Lt Gen Chauhan will work with six other service chiefs. He is now senior to the three serving chiefs, who are General Manoj Pande, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari and Admiral R Hari Kumar.