Indian government is all set to announce Bipin Rawat, the first-ever chief of defence staff (CDS), to serve till the age of 65.
General Bipin Rawat will complete his three-year term as the Army chief on December 31.
He will turn 62 in March next year, reported by the foreign media.
As per the existing Indian government rules, the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs can only serve up to the age of 62 or for three years.
As per the new proviso inserted into the Army Rules, the Indian government may give extension of service to the CDS for such period as it may deem necessary subject to maximum age of 65 years.
The amendment in the Army Rules come after a pre-scheduled ceremony for the ceremonial transfer of the baton of the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) was deferred at the last minute.
Gen. Bipin Rawat supposed to hand over the baton to Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh at the ceremony.
The CoSC comprises the Army, Navy and IAF chiefs, with the senior-most of them acting as the “rotational’’ chairman till he retires.
The Indian cabinet will approve the CDS post and its charter on December 24.
The CDS will now be the “first among equals” as the permanent chairman of the CoSC and head of a new department of military affairs in the Defence Ministry.
He will, however, remain a four-star general with the same pay and perks as the other three services chiefs, who will retain full operational control over their forces.