New Delhi: At a time when the process to appoint the new Chief of Defence Staff is on, the government has sought names of senior serving and retired officers from the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The Defence Ministry has sought the names of the top five serving officers including the serving chiefs from the three forces along with the names of retired chiefs and commander-in-chief rank officers, government sources told ANI.

For the retired officers, the service headquarters have been asked to provide the names of only those officers who have retired after January, 2020, they said.

The move comes at a time when the appointment of the new Chief of Defence Staff is pending

The post has been lying vacant since December 8 last year after the death of the country’s first CDS late General Bipin Rawat in an air crash.

The appointment of the CDS by the Narendra Modi government within six months of coming back to power in 2019 has been hailed as one of the biggest reforms in the higher military structure of the country.

The CDS was appointed as the Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs which functions at present under an Additional Secretary-rank Lieutenant General.

The CDS is also the head of the Integrated Defence Staff presently headed by a three-star officer from the Indian Air Force.