Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha appointed Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff

India Current Affairs 2011. Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, an ace naval aviatorwas on 27 June 2011 appointed Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CISC)

Jun 29, 2011 12:05 IST
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Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha, an ace naval aviatorwas on 27 June 2011 appointed Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff (CISC).  Sinha's name for the post was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, almost two months after the top tri-services post fell vacant.

The present IDS deputy chief, Sinha who is a 1974 batch Indian Navy officer, will serve a one-and-half-year tenure. Sinha will replace Vice Admiral D.K. Joshi, who had assumed charge of the IDS headquarters about six months ago but was appointed the Western Naval Command head in May 2011.

Sinha, who is a Sea Harrier fighter pilot, has served on India’s lone aircraft carrier INS Viraat. He was among the initial induction team of pilots for the fighter plane. During his service of over three-decades, Sinha commanded top notch warships, including INS Mysore, an indigenous Delhi class guided missile destroyer. He has also commanded the Indian Navy’s sword arm, the Western Fleet based in Mumbai.


About IDS & the Background

The Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) is a tri-services organisation headed in turns by Lt Gen-rank officers from the three services. The office of the IDS chief rotates among the army, navy and the air force, with a three-star officer from each of the service holding the appointment in turn. The previous CISC, Vice Admiral D K Joshi, took over as the Western Naval Command chief at Mumbai on April 30 and since then, the post was lying vacant, with Sinha being the officiating CISC.

IDS is a formation created after the K. Subramanyam committee that reviewed the conduct of the 1999 Kargil war with Pakistan had recommended the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff, a five-star post that would serve as a single point of reference for the government on all matters military. This would also achieve jointmanship and interoperability among the army, navy and air force.

The CISC post was initially only supposed to be an interim measure in the aftermath of the 1999 Kargil conflict till a full-fledged chief of defence staff (CDS) or General No 1 was appointed. CDS was supposed to bring much-needed synergy among Army, Navy and IAF, which often pull in different directions, by resolving inter-Service doctrinal, planning, procurement and operational issues.

The GoM report in 2001 on reforming the national security system had also stressed the need for a CDS to provide single-point military advice to government and manage the country's nuclear arsenal. However, even over a decade later, the CDS has not been formed.

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