Clearing all doubts and confusion over Defence Secretary and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) responsibilities, General Bipin Rawat on Wednesday said that secretary has his own charter of works and CDS has its own.
Talking about the secretary’s responsibilities in the Ministry of Defence, General Rawat, the country’s first CDS, also said that there “must be some civilian control over the military”. “I would dare say civilian control over the military must remain and must be paramount in a democratic country like ours,” he said.
Speaking at the Times Now Summit 2020 in Delhi, General Rawat said: “We operate in democratically elected government. While the military has been entrusted with specific task, there must be some civilian control over the military.”
He said that the CDS basically is looking at jointness, integration and ensuring that the priorities for procurements are laid out correctly so that all the three services — Army, Air Force and Navy — move ahead without one service trying to beat the other in procurement system.
“The CDS has to ensure that the budget is better managed and we do not rush to ensure that the budget is utilised. We have to ensure that the budget is utilised in a proper manner looking at the progress and development and modernisation of all the three services in sync,” he said.
He stressed upon the fact that the CDS has a very specific task and the defence secretary a very different task.
On being criticised for making statements with political overtones, General Rawat said that all service personnel should be politically aware. “We are also expected to cast our votes. We have right to the franchise like any other citizens of this country. Therefore, whom do I vote for if I am not politically aware.”