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Navy admiral Sunil Lanba appointed as chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee

By Newsd
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Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba replaced IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Thursday and took over the ceremonial baton of the chairman of chiefs of staff committee (CoSC). Lanba will assume the “full responsibility” of the CoSC chairman from Saturday when Raha will retire officially.

Air Marshal B S Dhanoa and Lt General Bipin Rawat, in sequence, will also take over as the new IAF and Army chiefs on the same day.

Notably, as part of the planned reformation, the government is now working on to create the post of another four-star general. However, it will take another six to seven months for the new post to take tangible shape, either as a chief of defence staff (CDS) or a permanent CoSC chairman on par with the 3 Service chiefs.

Eastern Army Command chief Lt General Praveen Bakshi, who was replaced by Lt General Rawat for the top Army position, is not being considered for the new job, as earlier reported by some media.

While the specific responsibility and powers of the novel four-star general are yet to be clear, he will essentially be accountable for tri-Service integrated planning, policy and procurement matters bound for methodically building military capabilities in a holistic and profitable manner.

Currently, India has only two integrated commands – the Andaman and Nicobar Command and the Strategic Forces Command to handle nuclear weaponry. In 2001, the L K Advani-led group of ministers’ stressed the need for a CDS post to offer single-point military advice to the government, usher synergy among the three Services and deal with country’s nuclear arsenal, among other things.

Numerous tri-Service structures such as the integrated defence staff and a defence intelligence agency were later established. But, the then NDA government plus succeeding UPA-I and II governments kept the powerful CDS position in cold storage because of political-bureaucratic confrontation towards appointing an “all powerful general” with turf wars among the three Services.