Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, is the head of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. The senior-most Chief of Staff is appointed to serve as a Chairman until he retires.[1] The current Chairman is the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.[2]

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
Armed forces logo
General Bipin Rawat

since 27 September 2019
Ministry of Defence
AbbreviationChairman, CoSC
Member ofChiefs of Staff Committee
Reports toMinister of Defence
Term lengthUntil retirement


Following the end of the Kargil war, Kargil Review Committee found there was a lack of communication between the service branches, and therefore suggested to create the position of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This was however rejected by many members of the military, arguing that only great or imperial powers engaging in power projection needed that amount of integration.[3] A compromise was created with the establishment of the CoSC.[4] The Chairman is responsible for inter-service synergy.[1] However, as the CoSC only serve as Primus inter pares to the other Chiefs of Staff, he does not wield any power.[5] The Chairman is assisted by the Integrated Defence Staff.[6][7]

Talks concerning the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff position remain ongoing.[5] Likewise, it has been suggested that the position of chairman be made permanent, with a renewable two year term.[5] Both of these suggestions have been rejected by the Indian Air Force.[5] In December 2018, however, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee Admiral Sunil Lanba stated the heads of the three services had "finally agreed on a permanent chief of staff committee," and the matter had been sent to the Defence Ministry for consideration.[8]

On Independence Day 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government's decision to replace the post of Chairman, COSC with a permanent Chief of the Defence Staff, who would be senior to each service chief and who would deal with India’s national security with a comprehensive approach, acting as a single-point military adviser to the prime minister and defence minister.[9]

List of Chairmen

No. Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff CommitteeTook officeLeft officeTime in officeDefence branchRef
Pereira, RonaldAdmiral
Ronald Lynsdale Pereira
--28 February 1982-- Indian Navy.
Rao, KrishnaGeneral
K. V. Krishna Rao
1 March 198231 July 19831 year, 152 days Indian Army[10]
Dawson, OscarAdmiral
Oscar Stanley Dawson
1 August 198330 November 19841 year, 121 days Indian Navy[11]
Vaidya, ArunGeneral
Arun Shridhar Vaidya
1 December 198431 January 19861 year, 61 days Indian Army[12]
Tahiliani, RadhakrishnaAdmiral
Radhakrishna Hariram Tahiliani
1 February 198630 November 19871 year, 302 days Indian Navy[13][14]
Sundarji, KrishnaswamyGeneral
Krishnaswamy Sundarji
1 December 198731 May 1988182 days Indian Army.
Nadkarni, JayantAdmiral
Jayant Ganpat Nadkarni
1 July 198830 November 19902 years, 152 days Indian Navy[15]
Rodrigues, SunithGeneral
Sunith Francis Rodrigues
(born 1933)
1 December 199030 June 19931 year, 49 days Indian Army[16]
Ramdas, LaxminarayanAdmiral
Laxminarayan Ramdas
(born 1933)
1 July 199330 September 199391 days Indian Navy[17]
Joshi, BipinGeneral
Bipin Chandra Joshi
1 October 199319 November 19941 year, 49 days Indian Army.
Kaul, SwaroopAir Chief Marshal
S. K. Kaul
(born 1935)
20 November 199431 December 19951 year, 41 days Indian Air Force[18]
Roychowdhury, ShankarGeneral
Shankar Roychowdhury
(born 1937)
1 January 199630 September 19971 year, 272 days Indian Army[19]
Sareen, SatishAir Chief Marshal
Satish Sareen
(born 1939)
01 October 199731 December 19981 year, 91 days Indian Air Force[20]
Malik, VedGeneral
Ved Prakash Malik
(born 1939)
1 January 199930 September 20001 year, 273 days Indian Army[21][22]
Kumar, SushilAdmiral
Sushil Kumar
1 October 200029 December 20011 year, 89 days Indian Navy[22]
Padmanabhan, SundararajanGeneral
Sundararajan Padmanabhan
(born 1940)
30 December 200131 December 20021 year, 1 day Indian Army[23]
Singh, MadhvendraAdmiral
Madhvendra Singh
31 December 200231 July 20041 year, 213 days Indian Navy[23]
Krishnaswamy, SrinivasapuramAir Chief Marshal
Srinivasapuram Krishnaswamy
(born 1943)
31 July 200429 December 2004151 days Indian Air Force[24]
Vij,Nirmal ChanderGeneral
Nirmal Chander Vij
30 December 200430 January 200531 days Indian Army[24]
Prakash, ArunAdmiral
Arun Prakash
(born 1944)
31 January 200531 October 20061 year, 273 days Indian Navy[24]
Tyagi, Shashindra PalAir Chief Marshal
Shashindra Pal Tyagi
(born 1945)
31 October 200631 March 2007151 days Indian Air Force.
Singh, Joginder JaswantGeneral
Joginder Jaswant Singh
(born 1945)
31 March 200730 September 2007183 days Indian Army.
Mehta, SureeshAdmiral
Sureesh Mehta
(born 1947)
30 September 200731 August 20091 year, 335 days Indian Navy.
Mehta, SureeshGeneral
Deepak Kapoor
(born 1948)
31 August 200931 March 2010212 days Indian Army.
Naik, PradeepAir Chief Marshal
Pradeep Vasant Naik
(born 1949)
31 March 201030 July 20111 year, 121 days Indian Air Force[25]
Naik, PradeepAdmiral
Nirmal Kumar Verma
(born 1949)
30 July 201131 August 20121 year, 32 days Indian Navy[26]
Browne, NormanAir Chief Marshal
Norman Anil Kumar Browne
(born 1951)
31 August 201231 December 20131 year, 122 days Indian Air Force.
Singh, BikramGeneral
Bikram Singh
(born 1951)
31 December 201331 July 2014212 days Indian Army[1]
Raha, ArupAir Chief Marshal
Arup Raha
(born 1954)
31 July 201431 December 20162 years, 153 days Indian Air Force.
Raha, ArupAdmiral
Sunil Lanba
(born 1957)
31 December 201631 May 20192 years, 151 days Indian Navy[27]
Dhanoa, Birender SinghAir Chief Marshal
Birender Singh Dhanoa
(born 1957)
31 May 201927 September 2019119 days Indian Air Force[28]
Rawat, BipinGeneral
Bipin Rawat
27 September 2019Incumbent73 days Indian Army[29]

See also


  1. TNN (31 December 2013). "Bikram Singh takes over chairman of chiefs of staff from Browne". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  2. "Gen. Rawat takes over as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  3. Bratton, Dr. Patrick Keo Clifton. "Defense Reforms in a Rising India: An Organizational and Normative Shift towards Power Projection?" (PDF). Hawai‘i Pacific University. p. 20. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  4. Bratton, Dr. Patrick Keo Clifton. "Defense Reforms in a Rising India: An Organizational and Normative Shift towards Power Projection?" (PDF). Hawai‘i Pacific University. p. 21. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. Kanwal, Gurmeet (27 September 2018). "Where is India's Chief of Defence Staff?". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  6. Integrated Defence Staff. History of Integrated Defence Staff. National Informatics Center.
  7. "Chairman COSC". Integrated Defence Staff.
  8. Peri, Dinakar (3 December 2018). "Sea trials of IAC Vikrant likely to begin in 2020: Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  9. The Hindu. 15 August 2019 Retrieved 15 August 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. "Former Army Chief General KV Krishna Rao Dies At 92".
  11. "Admiral Oscar Stanley Dawson - Bharat Rakshak :: Indian Navy".
  12. (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. The Sri Lankan crisis. Lancer International. p. 50. ISBN 8170620635.
  14. (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. Nuclear policy and national security (1st ed.). Mittal Publications. 1993. p. 262. ISBN 9788170995210.
  16. "Integrated Defence Staff".
  17. "Admiral (Rtd) Ramdas urges President Kovind to intervene post-Pulwama". National Herald.
  18. "Swaroop Krishna Kaul PVSM MVC ADC CAS | Indian Air Force | Government of India".
  19. "Rediff On The NeT: Sareen nominated chairman of defence chiefs' panel".
  20. "Rediff On The NeT: Sareen nominated chairman of defence chiefs' panel".
  21. "Malik V.p. General". HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  22. "Admiral Sushil Kumar new chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee". Zee News. Essel Group Company. 14 September 2000. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  23. TNN (24 December 2002). "Navy chief to head COSC". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  24. "Gen Vij new head of chiefs of staff panel".
  25. Dutta, Sujan (30 November 2011). "Generation shift in air force". The Telegraph. The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  26. "Admiral Nirmal Verma now heads chiefs of staff committee". New Delhi: The Information Company Private Limited. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  27. TNN (30 December 2016). "Navy chief now to head chiefs of staff committee". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  28. "Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa gets baton of COSC chief". The Hindu. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  29. "Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat to take over as chairman of CCS tomorrow". Retrieved 26 September 2019.
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