Indian Army

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  • Indians, Anzacs and Gallipoli, 1915

    As one of the world’s most populous nations, India today has one of its largest armies, which stands ready to defend the nation. A century ago, India’s army was similarly large but was used to defend the British empire as well as Britain’s Indian possessions. In 1914, the Indian Army (a force of about 200,000 men) provided a vast reservoir of trained military manpower, one immediately used by Britain as it entered the Great War.

    July 2014

    Modernising the Army’s Tactical-level Communications Systems

    The new optical fibre network being laid as an alternative to the 3G spectrum surrendered by the armed forces will go a long way in providing modern land-line communications in peace stations and to limited extent up to the war-time locations of higher formation HQ.

    February 14, 2014

    Army's Ingenious Frontier Diplomacy

    To reshape public confidence further, the Union Home Ministry should quickly address the long festering issue of redeploying at least one regiment of the sashastra seema bal (SSB) in Ladakh. Initially raised as Special Service Bureau in the 1960s, SSB effectively involved natives for building a second line of defence against adversaries.

    February 05, 2014

    Revenue Procurement Practices in the Indian Army

    Revenue Procurement Practices in the Indian Army

    This monograph examines some aspects of the Indian Army’s revenue procurement practices. It discusses the peculiarities of these practices in the Indian defence and security setup, relating it to the contemporary risk scenario. This study draws attention to the corresponding trends in the private or commercial sector.


    Permanent Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee: Should the appointment be delayed further?

    Though the general elections are due this year, the need of the hour is to build a political consensus on the issue without further delay. It will be to the credit of the government if it is able to generate political consensus and appoint a Permanent Chairman CoSC or CDS.

    January 02, 2014

    Delegation of Powers to the Armed Forces in a Time Warp

    MoD, according to news reports, has instructed the Army HQ that its permission will need to be taken before changing the structure or role of the units in future. This could easily be interpreted to mean that there are no existing instructions on such vital issues. But such an impression would be wrong.

    December 26, 2013

    Chief of Defence Staff must be Appointed Immediately

    All major democracies have opted for the CDS and India cannot ignore it any further. In the prevailing battlefield milieu of joint operations, combined operations and even coalition operations, modern armed forces cannot be successful without a well-developed and deeply ingrained culture of jointmanship.

    December 12, 2013

    Anjan Kumar Sahu asked: The government has repeatedly been saying that climate change is not a security issue. But, what is the view of the Indian Army?

    P.K. Gautam replies: India is a responsible regional and global power.  The Indian Army is a part of the democratic system.  The report of the IDSA Working Group, “Security Implications of Climate Change for India” (Academic Foundation, New Delhi, 2009), explains why it is not considered as viable to take the issue of climate change as a security issue. India has the least per capita emission. Its securitisation in the sense of the Copenhagen School will make it more difficult and unfair. Rather, green consciousness of the Indian Army has been taken as a good practice at the international level, which has been covered in detail in my book, “Environmental Security: New Challenges and Role of the Military” (Shipra Publications, New Delhi, 2010). The Indian Army since the 1980s is the only army in the world which has had ecological task force battalions of the Territorial Army, undertaking greening projects in harsh terrain. The infantry which has the entire Himalayan border as combat zone is not very energy or carbon intensive. Carbon neutral foot and hoof mobility is the key which it sustains. Frugalness is also a virtue in war-fighting.

    But, overall, the military equipment of the three services is highly energy and material intensive. It is also destructive in its primary mission. It is incumbent that the Indian military also must be part of the adaptation and mitigation process of climate change and related matters, such as, arresting environmental degradation and restoration of natural capital with a green consciousness. The military’s effort in arresting climate change, including ozone depletion, is just one part of the spectrum. The Centre for Air Power Studies (New Delhi) is in the forefront of the initiatives on Montréal Protocol and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in the military, their reduction and phase out and banking till suitable replacements are found. Many foreign countries too have been assisted in this matter.

    For military operations under risks of climate change, you can also read my article, “Changing Geographical Factors in Planning and Conduct of Indian Military Operations”, Strategic Analysis, Vol. 32, Issue 2, March 2008 and  “Climate Change and the Military”, Journal of Defence Studies, Vol. 3, Issue 4, October 2009.

    Finally, the increasing role of military in climate-related disaster relief is well documented and will give you a new perspective. Military, to me, is part of the solution to climate change.

    Gaurav lulia asked: Does Indian army have sniper school & survival school?

    Vivek Chadha replies: India does have a sniper and survival school. However, these are known by different names. Infantry School Mhow, the premier institution for Infantry officers and soldiers, runs a number of training courses or programmes. Amongst these, they also run a sniper course which teaches the basics of the weapon and its employment in all battle situations. While we do not have a course specifically called as a survival course, however, two different schools run training on similar lines. The first is the Commando Wing. This runs a commando course which has an extremely rigorous schedule. It includes survival training, living off the land, long distance marches, escape and evasion, launching raids as some of the important aspects taught. The second course is run by the Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare School, which teaches counter insurgency skills and jungle warfare. This also includes lessons on survival skills. In addition to this, infantry battalions also carry out training at their own level for specialist groups amongst their soldiers to imbibe similar qualities specifically suited to their respective operational role.

    Building Army’s Human Resource for Sub-Conventional Warfare by K.C. Dixit

    The Indian Army today faces a very complex challenge. It is increasingly becoming clear that the kind of wars that were fought a few decades ago are not going to be fought in the future. The nature of warfare is changing from conventional warfare to one that is ‘sub-conventional’. Rivalries among nations continue to exist but the spheres of these rivalries now focus on economic capabilities and strengths.

    April 2013