Lt. Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar welcomes appointment of CDS

New Delhi: Lt. Gen (Retd) DB Shekatkar on Thursday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement regarding the appointment of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and said that the move will result in better coordination between armed forces.

Shekatkar was the Chairman of the Committee of Experts (CoE) constituted by the Ministry of Defence to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.

He had submitted the committee’s report in December 2016 and had recommended the appointment of a CDS.

Speaking to ANI, soon after the announcement by the Prime Minister, Shekatkar said, “It is a very welcome step. There has been demand for this for the last 40 years. The Committee of Experts headed by me had also recommended this. Out of 188 recommendations, this is one of the most important one given to the present government.”

Elaborating on the importance and need of CDS, he said, “The world is changing, therefore, challenges in front of the nation are changing. There is a number of countries they have CDS because they think it’s high time for them. Even the US has a CDS. Unless there is a unity of thinking, vision, action and coordination we all will be doing things in our own way.”

He also asserted that India’s armed forces were among the largest needed a CDS for better coordination.

“As the world is shaping and challenges to the world are changing every other day, new developments are taking place. Therefore if one doesn’t have unity and coordination of thinking, things may go wrong. The decision should have been taken 40 years but better late than never” said Shekatkar.

Speaking about his other recommendations he said that a number of things need to be reorganised and relooked at.

“Decision-making process has to be prompt. Delays increase the cost. We have recommended that there is scope to reduce the Army, Navy, Airforce by minimum 25,000 by the next three years. This strength can be reduced and money thus saved can be used for modernisation”, he said.

Earlier, while addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of India’s 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced the creation of a new post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for better coordination among Army, Navy and the Air Force.

“To further enhance coordination between our forces, I announce a big decision today, India will now have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS,” Modi said in his Independence Day speech.