India’s First Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Passes Away

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat, an Army Brigadier, and ten others perished when an Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V5 helicopter carrying them crashed into a heavily wooded area of the Coonoor ghat in the Nilgiris in western Tamil Nadu. 

Important Highlights:

  • The General was on a visit to Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) in Wellington in the Nilgiris to address the faculty and student officers of the ‘Staff Course’ when the chopper crashed barely 10 km from the landing site at around 12.25 p.m.
  • Visibility was said to be limited.


Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)?

  • Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) is a post that acts as the single-point advisor to the Government of India in the matters of India’s military. The CDS is the head of the Army, Navy and Air Force and is a four-star military officer. He/she is in a position to advise on the matters related to all the three segments of the military. The appointment of CDS aims to make India's armed forces integrated.
  • Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat was appointed the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on December 30, 2019.
  • The recommendation for creating the post of CDS was first made after the 1999 Kargil War. A high-level committee that was set up to examine the gaps in the country's security system in the wake of the Kargil War had recommended that the three services should have a Chief of Defence Staff.
  • The committee had said this person, a five-star military officer, should be the single-point military advisor to the Defence Minister. After that, a Group of Ministers (GoM) recommended the appointment of CDS in 2001. But it was made public in 2019.


Mi17V5 Chopper

  • Mi17V5 is an advanced transport helicopter which has been with the Indian Air Force since 2012.
  • Russian Helicopters' subsidiary Kazan manufactures Mi17V5. These choppers are equipped with the latest general of night vision. They also have weather radar.