New CDS appointment | List of probables to be submitted to Defence Minister soon: Officials

New Delhi, Dec 17 : The government has started the process to appoint the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and a list of names based on recommendations from the three services will soon be submitted to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for approval, officials said on Friday.

They said the government is finalising a panel comprising senior commanders from the Army, the Navy and the Air Force to choose the successor of Gen Bipin Rawat, who died in a helicopter crash near Coonoor last week.

The list is being finalised based on recommendations from the three services and it will soon be submitted to Singh for approval, two people familiar with the development said.

Following the approval by the defence minister, the names will be sent for consideration by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet for taking the final decision to appoint a new CDS, they said.

It is learned that there is a strong possibility of appointing Army Chief Gen MM Naravane to the top post considering his overall experience. The Army Chief is due to retire in April.

Gen Naravane is the senior-most among the three service chiefs.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had taken over their respective positions on September 30 and November 30.

If Gen Naravane is appointed as the CDS, then the government will also have to look for his replacement.

Vice Chief of Army Lt Gen CP Mohanty and Northern Army Commander Lt Gen YK Joshi will be the front-runner for the Army Chief's post.

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