Indian Army

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  • Probity in the Armed Forces

    People in India have traditionally looked up to the Armed Forces. Corruption in the Armed Forces therefore militates against the spirit of service to the nation. It has to be cleansed wholesale, with effective mechanisms for protecting whistleblowers and taking swift action against the guilty put in place. Caesar’s wife must be beyond reproach.

    November 01, 2010

    Improving the Quality of Rations Supplied to Army Personnel

    The most crucial aspect is inspection of the ration offered by a contractor under the contract and acceptance of the same by the contract operating officer with due care and with reference to quantity as well as quality.

    September 16, 2010

    Calling the Army for Peace Restoration

    The interim opportunity provided by the Army’s curtailment of insurgent activity needs to be utilised to meet the aspirations of the local population in insurgency affected areas.

    August 23, 2010

    Military Doctrines: Next steps

    The Services have been doctrinally fecund over the past decade, with each Service bidding to pursue relatively distinct campaigns, which would amount to lack of synergy and the whole failing to rise higher than the sum of its parts.

    August 16, 2010

    Sustaining Motivation in Sub-Conventional Warfare

    Sustaining Motivation in Sub-Conventional Warfare

    This paper is an attempt to understand the peculiarities of the operational environment in sub-conventional warfare scenario in Indian context. It recommends measures which need to be taken at various levels by concerned agencies to sustain and enhance the motivational level of troops.

    K Raka Sudhakar Rao asked: Do we have any memorial or a commission for missing army men on the lines of Fromelles war graves committee?

    Ali Ahmed replies: There is no commission for missing army men. Instead the matter is dealt with by the Adjutant General's Branch. There is the interesting case of an aircraft having crashed in the early sixties. The Army by sending expeditions to the mountainous area has recently retrieved bodies. This was done earlier in Himachal Pradesh as also recently in Arunachal Pradesh. On the Line of Control and Line of Actual Control, if troops go missing, flag meetings are held to ascertain if they have strayed across.

    There is no War Graves Commission. This owes to the policy of sending mortal remains of martyrs back to the native place, as was the case in the Kargil War and is the case in counter-insurgency operations. The transportation is done by the service and civil aviation. A solemn military ceremony is done at the native place in case military resources are close at hand. If not, then the local police and administration undertake the same. This has helped maintain the military's engagement in far flung areas in the public consciousness. The public gathering and presence of family gives a befitting farewell to the martyr. As to whether this is feasible in a high intensity war is debatable. In such a case, the military has procedures for collection and disposal of mortal remains with due dignity and care. The details are recorded and personal effects sent to Next of Kin. There is no equivalent of a War Cemetery, since in the Hindu tradition cremation is undertaken.

    Nevertheless, across India's borders and areas where the Army has operated, there are small memorials put up in memory of those who have departed. These could be individuals on the spot or as part of efforts of formation at headquarters. Many citizens committees across India, energised by veterans, have also erected memorials honouring those who have represented that locality or city in various battlefields and disturbed areas. A recent news report had it that the Chief is pursuing the issue of a memorial for martyrs in the central vista in Delhi. Apparently the case has been under discussion for some years. It would be very inspiring if the memorial were to materialise soon.

    Synergisation for Future Wars

    It is essential to have an army which is capable of responding to conventional as well as sub-conventional warfare requirements with bare minimum turbulence while switching roles from one form of warfare to another.

    July 13, 2010

    Akash asked: What is the new perception management doctrine for Army?

    S. K. Chatterji replies: The doctrine published is by the Integrated Defence Staff, the apex Joint Services HQ of the Indian Armed Forces. The doctrine addresses Perception Management and Psychological Operations. It is not a doctrine published by the Indian Army. Indian Army has an existing doctrine on Information Warfare, which also addresses Psychological operations. Perception Management and Psychological Operations address common issues, the latter being a precursor of the former.

    The doctrine being classified, cannot be commented upon. However, perception management operations are essentially endeavours at shaping attitudes and inclinations of a target populace. They include messages that are truthful and activities that address the apprehensions and causes of alienation of the targeted segment. These operations are launched at all three levels: Strategic, Operational and Tactical, and serve to reduce the need of application of kinetic means of war.

    It is also not uncommon for militaries to have both joint doctrines for tri-service joint operations, and also service specific doctrines. The US Armed Forces have both joint and service specific doctrines on numerous operational disciplines. At times, these do not even conform fully with each other.

    Always in the Line of Fire

    There are no shortcuts to overcoming the grave Naxal threat to our democratic way of life. Broadening the mandate by handing over the problem to the army is neither fair nor efficacious.

    June 22, 2010

    Anti-Naxal Operations: Employment of Armed Forces

    Whereas employing Armed Forces may appear to be an attractive idea to control the naxal menace, the adverse effects of their long term commitment, particularly of the Army, need to be understood.

    May 04, 2010