As the CoSC chairman, ACM Browne pushed several tri-Service initiatives including the critical one for creation of three new joint commands for space, cyber and special forces. He also asked the government to give "full representation" to the military on the 7th Central Pay Commission as well as resolve pending issues like rank pay.
Gen Singh, in his new role as the CoSC chairman, will also have to ensure synergy among the three Services which often pull in different directions on doctrinal, planning, policy and operational issues. Of the particular significance will be the three new commands, considered crucial for deploying capabilities for conventional as well asymmetric warfare in a unified manner, which are now awaiting the final government nod.
India as of now has only two unified commands, the Andaman and Nicobar Island regional command and the Strategic Forces Command to handle nuclear weapons, as also an integrated defence staff set-up.
Successive governments have also dragged their feet in creating the post of a General No. 1, a tri-Service military chief, either in the shape of a chief of defence staff (CDS) or a permanent chairman of the CoSC.
The existing CoSC comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs, with the senior-most of them acting as the "rotational" chairman till he retires. A permanent chairman, with a fixed two-year tenure, would mean a fourth four-star general in the CoSC as the "first among equals".
Despite being strongly recommended by the GoM report on `Reforming the national security system' in 2001 after the Kargil conflict, the CDS post has been kept in cold storage. Similarly, the government has not moved towards appointing a permanent CoSC chairman, which was recommended by the 14-member Naresh Chandra Taskforce in its report submitted to PMManmohan Singh in May 2012, and later endorsed by the three Services.
The defence ministry has also rejected the need for "cross-staffing", or the posting of military officers to MoD to bridge the civil-military disconnect, holding that there were institutional mechanisms in place to ensure "joint consultations" as well as provide "integrated advise" to the defence minister.
SOURCE - TOI