The duties and functions of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) include the following:
To head the Department of Military Affairs in Ministry of Defence and function as its Secretary.
To act as the Principal Military Advisor to Hon’ble Raksha Mantri on all Tri-Service matters.
To function as the Permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee
To administer the Tri-Service organizations/agencies/commands.
To be a member of Defence Acquisition Council chaired by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri.
To function as the Military Advisor to the Nuclear Command Authority.
To bring about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance, etc of the three Services.
To ensure optimal utilisation of infrastructure and rationalise it through jointness among the Services.
To implement Five-Year Defence Capital Acquisition Plan and Two-Year roll-on Annual Acquisition Plans, as a follow up of Integrated Capability Development Plan.
To assign inter-services prioritisation to capital acquisition proposals based on the anticipated budget.
To bring about reforms in the functioning of three Services with the aim to augment combat capabilities of the Armed Forces by reducing wasteful expenditure.
The mandate of the Department of Military Affairs inter-alia includes “Facilitation of restructuring of Military Commands for optimal utilisation of resources by bringing about jointness in operations, including through establishment of joint/theatre commands”.