Indian Army

The Indian Army . In 1994 the army had approximately 940,000 men and women in its ranks and more than 36,000 in reserve forces. The army is headquartered in New Delhi and is under the direction of the chief of the army staff, always a full general. The chief of the army staff is assisted by a vice chief, two deputy chiefs, a military secretary, and the heads of four main staff divisions: the adjutant general, the quartermaster general, the master general of ordnance, and the engineer in chief.

The Indian army has five tactical area commands: the Northern Command headquartered at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, the Western Command headquartered at Chandimandir in Chandigarh, the Central Command headquartered at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, the Eastern Command headquartered at Calcutta, and the Southern Command headquartered at Pune in Maharashtra (see fig. 17). Each command is headed by a lieutenant general. The principal combat formations within the scope of these commands are armored divisions and independent armored brigades, infantry divisions, mountain infantry divisions, independent infantry brigades, airborne/commando brigades, and independent artillery brigades (see table 34, Appendix). These units are organized in twelve corps-level formations.

The army is equipped with some 3,400 main battle tanks. Of these, 1,200 are indigenously manufactured Vijayanta tanks. Additionally, the army has some T-55, T-72, and PT-76 tanks. The Arjun main battle tank has been under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) since 1983, and, in 1995, limited production was expected to begin in 1996.

To complement indigenous production, however, it was reported in 1994 that Russia had agreed to help India modernize its T-72 tanks and to sell and lease other types of weapons. It is generally understood that about 70 percent of India’s military equipment is of Soviet origin. Some army officials continue to favor Russian-made equipment, such as the T-72 tank, over Indian adaptations of the same items, such as the T-72 MI tank developed by the DRDO.

The Indian army also has substantial artillery forces. The best estimate places the army’s towed artillery capabilities at more than 4,000 pieces. In addition to the towed artillery, the army has self-propelled artillery. Finally, it has substantial numbers of surface-to-air missile capabilities, the total number being more than 1,200. In 1986 air observation post units were transferred from the air force to the army to form the Army Aviation branch. Using nine helicopter squadrons, Army Aviation has supported ground units in the Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir and in Sri Lanka, as well as counterinsurgency operations in various parts of the country. Army Aviation has also participated in disaster relief.

Apart from its nine squadrons of helicopters, the army has eight air observation squadrons and six antitank/transport squadrons. It relies on the air force for air support, lift capabilities, and air supply (see table 35, Appendix).

An extensive body of schools and centers supports army operations. The officer corps is largely drawn from the National Defence Academy at Khadakvasla, Maharashtra, a joint services training institution that provides educational equivalents to the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degrees to cadets for all three service arms. Cadets spend their first three years at the National Defence Academy and then are sent to their respective service academies for further training before being commissioned in the armed forces. A preparatory school, the Rashtriya Indian Military College, at Dehra Dun, Uttar Pradesh, provides education to candidates for the National Defence Academy. After completing their studies at the National Defence Academy, army cadets are sent to the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun.

Other Indian Military Academy cadets are graduates of the Army Cadet College or are direct-entry students who have qualified by passing the Union Public Service Commission Examination. They spend between twelve and twenty-four months at the Indian Military Academy before being commissioned in the army as second lieutenants. Still other officer training occurs at the Officers’ Training Academy in Madras, Tamil Nadu, where a forty-four-week session is offered to university graduates seeking a short-service commission.

In addition to the Indian Military Academy, the army runs a number of military education establishments. The more prominent ones include the College of Combat at Mhow, Madhya Pradesh; the High Altitude Warfare School at Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir; and the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte, Mizoram. The army also operates the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington in the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu, which provides master of science-level joint-service training for mid-level staff appointments and promotes interservice cooperation.

In the Indian army, which employs women as physicians and nurses, the participation of women is small but growing. The Indian Military Nursing Service was formed in 1926 and has eight nursing schools (five army, two navy, and one air force) and one nursing college in Pune. Bachelor of science graduates are commissioned as lieutenants in the Medical Nursing Service and attached to the various components of the armed forces. Ranks as high as colonel can be attained by career officers. In the mid-1990s, a small but increasing number of women officers were being assigned to nonmedical services. In 1994, there were fifty women nonmedical army officers and another twenty-five in training. They are university graduates who have been put through rigorous training and are reported to be eager for combat unit assignments. The Indian Army . data 1995 Data 1995. Courtesy Library of Congress. – website for information on History, Organisation, Achievements, Career Prospects in Indian army – INDIAN ARMY OFFICIAL WEB SITE