New Delhi: Even after a month that India’s first Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was killed in a chopper crash in Tamil Nadu, the government at the Centre is yet to announce his successor and as per reports it is no rush to do the same anytime soon. According to a CNN-News18 report, a top government source has informed that the process had begun but a successor to the late general is unlikely to be announced soon and it will take time. “We are not in a hurry. Things have been so busy that there has been no time to deliberate on a name,” said the top source.

On being asked how much time it could take to name Gen Rawat’s successor, the source did not mention a definite timeline and said, “In the end, it is the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister who will clear the name of the next CDS.” Amid hushed talks and speculations in the defence establishment of three retired officers being considered for the top position, the top source, however, ruled out the possibility saying, “The rules right now allow for a serving officer only.”

As per media reports, Army Chief General MM Naravane is a frontrunner for the post as he is the senior most officer in the Indian armed forces right now. Following, General Rawat’s death, Naravane has also assumed responsibility for the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).

As a stop-gap arrangement before the appointment of a new Chief of Defence Staff following the demise of General Rawat, the Centre placed in an old system and appointed General Manoj Mukund Naravane as Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee. The old system was in practice before creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff two years ago. The practice was that the senior-most Chief would take over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee and would be responsible for synergy between the Army, Navy and Air Force. He would look after the better coordination and co-operative practices among the three services.

The CoSC comprises the three service chiefs with the CDS as its permanent chairperson. Gen Naravane, who took over from Gen Rawat as army chief on Dec 31, 2019, will retire in April 2022.