In a major announcement from the rampart of Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will soon have the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) who will oversee all three forms of defence in India.
"I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort: India will have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective": PM Modi
The prime minister said the CDS will ensure synergy among the three services and provide effective leadership to them.
"Our government has decided to have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS," the prime minister said.
A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country's security system in the wake of the Kargil War in 1999 had called for appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister.
A group of ministers analysing required reforms in the national security system had also favoured appointing a chief of defence staff.
In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).
The CoSC comprises chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most among them acts as its chairman as per existing norm.
Emphasising that a new approach was needed to deal with Kashmir, PM Modi said that his government ‘neither nurse problems nor keep them pending’.
"In this short span of time, we have taken important steps in every sector. Article 370 and 35A being revoked from Jammu and Kashmir is a step towards realising the dream of Sardar Patel," the prime minister said while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day.
He said the work which was pending for the last 70 years was accomplished in less than 70 days under his government. PM Modi said everyone wanted Article 370 to be scrapped, but they were waiting for the appropriate time.
“Why did those who are supporting Article 370 make it a permanent provision for J and K and kept it a temporary measure,” he questioned.
He also talked about abolition of Triple Talaq and said that the decision was taken to ‘give equal right to Muslim sisters and for political gains.’
“Remember how scared Muslim women were, those who suffered due to the practice of Triple Talaq, but we ended that. When Islamic nations can ban it then why can't we? When we can ban Sati, when we can take strong steps against female infanticide, child marriage, then why not this, PM Modi said.
The prime minister also condoled the death of people in recent floods and assured affected people of all help.
"The country is reeling under floods and heavy rains in some parts, I express my empathy," said PM Modi.
"Today when the country wakes up to yet another independence day, there are many affected due to floods. Bodies such as NDRF are fighting to resolve such issues. I want to reach out to everybody," he added.
He also talked about various welfare schemes that his government has launched for the welfare of the common man.
With PTI Inputs