New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated former Army chief Bipin Rawat for taking over as the first Chief of Defence Staff and called him an "outstanding officer" who has served India with great zeal.
"I am delighted that as we begin the new year and new decade, India gets its first Chief of Defence Staff in General Bipin Rawat. I congratulate him and wish him the very best for this responsibility. He is an outstanding officer who has served India with great zeal," Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets.
On Tuesday, General Rawat received the guard of honour from all the three forces after demitting office on retirement as Chief of Indian Army.
Expressing delight over the appointment of Rawat as the first CDS, Prime Minister said that the position of Chief of Defence Staff carries "tremendous responsibility of modernising India's military forces".
"On 15th August 2019, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I announced that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff. This institution carries tremendous responsibility of modernizing our military forces. It would also reflect the hopes and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians," he said.
On the occasion, Prime Minister paid homage to all those who laid down their lives for the nation and recalled how post-Kargil War discussions on reforms in military paved the way towards the appointment of CDS.
"As the first CDS takes charge, I pay homage to all those who have served and laid down their lives for our nation. I recall the valiant personnel who fought in Kargil, after which many discussions on reforming our military began, leading to today's historic development," he said.
Prime Minister Modi asserted that the post of CDS is a momentous and comprehensive reform that will help our country face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare.
"Creation of the Department of Military Affairs with requisite military expertise and institutionalisation of the post of CDS is a momentous and comprehensive reform that will help our country face the ever-changing challenges of modern warfare," he said.
General Manoj Mukund Naravane took over as the 28th Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on Tuesday, succeeding General Bipin Rawat who has become India's first CDS.
General Naravane previously served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff. He has taken over the reins of the Army amid prevailing tensions between India and Pakistan due to provocations by Islamabad through terror activities.