Defence Services: India

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

India's armed forces/ Indian military



Global firepower index: The Indian military vis-à-vis the militaries of the USA, Russia, China and the UK.Chart: The Times of India

The Times of India Jul 26 2014

Annual DefenceBudget 2.29 lakh cr

ARMY 38,600 officers 11.32 lakh other ranks

Indian Air Force 12,000 officers 1.3 lakh other ranks

NAVY 9,000 officers 52,000 other ranks


149 warships, including two aircraft carriers, 14 submarines, eight destroyers and 15 frigates 34 Fighter Squadrons (16-18 jets each) of Sukhoi-30MKIs, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars, MiG29s, MiG-27s and MiG-21s Over 3,200 main-battle tanks 382 infantry battalions


The Times of India Jul 26 2014

90-110 nuclear warheads Prithvi (350-km), Agni-I (700-km), Agni-II (2,500km) and Agni-III (3,000-km) missiles inducted into Strategic Forces Command No ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) or SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) yet The over 5,000-km Agni-V

ICBM tested two times successfully over last couple of years but will take at least three years more to become fully-operational The 750-km K-15 SLBM yet to be tested from India's first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant, slated to head for extensive “sea trials“ later this year. This will be a major plus

War widows

We have largest number of war widows, yet no war memorial

Indian army martyrs

The Times of India Jul 26 2014

India has an unusual -possibly unique -military history . There are few countries that have won in dependence through non-violence despite having a sterling martial past.

It has sent over a million soldiers to different parts of the world to fight wars. It is said no country has as many war widows -estimated at 25,000 -as in India. There may not be another nation-state that has lost more men fighting the enemy within than aggressors from across the borders.


Indian history is mostly a narrative of battles. But it was the empire that took Indian soldiers on a global odyssey . More than 1.1 million Indian soldiers took part in World War I ¬ in France, Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia, and East Africa. They spent gruelling months in the trenches of death. Their soldiering skills and gallantry became legendary . The story wasn't different in World War II, nor in other major wars of modern times.

After Independence the Indian military became a strategic player, helping the country's leadership build a unified, pluralistic democracy . They arrived in the nick of time to secure Srinagar, [and liberate areas annexed by Pakistan, then the fourth biggest nation in the world, from the then independent princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which had all of nine infantry battalions] liberated Goa and Hyderabad. They fought the hostile stand-offs with Pakistan in 1965, 1971 and 1999 brilliantly . In 1962 the Chinese war-machine won, but not before Indian soldiers scripted stories of raw courage and heroism. By late 1950s, they were in Nagaland tackling insurgency . It's a role they continue to play to this day. In these six decades the Indian military has lost more men fighting militancy than external hostilities.

At times, they've had to fight insurgents away from home, as in 1987-1990, in Sri Lanka. Not surprising, therefore, India is home to the world's largest population of war widows.

But the Indian military's role isn't limited to fighting. In every national disaster, they've been on the forefront -floods, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis.

The Indian military has always stood apolitical, a shining example of a force in the service of democracy .

Defence reforms

See graphic

Memorials to Indian war heroes

Indian Salutes - `When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today'

The Times of India Jul 26 2014

`When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today'

This evocative epitaph is enshrined on the Kohima war memorial in Nagaland, built to commemorate soldiers of the empire who laid down their lives to repel Japanese assault in 1944 during World War-II

The majestic India Gate on Rajpath in New Delhi was built by the British to honour the 84,000 Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Empire in World War-I and the Afghan campaign.

The Amar Jawan Jyoti was built under the India Gate arch in 1972 as a tribute to the almost 4,000 soldiers killed in the 1971 war..

In 2014 finance minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of Defence, earmarked Rs 100 crore for the longawaited national war memorial and museum in his Budget.

2014: Shortage of Officers

Forces battle shortage of `fighting rank' officers Rajat Pandit The Times of India Dec 01 2014

Shortage of officers

New Delhi:

It's the young officers who lead troops into battle, fly fighters to bomb targets or command submarines that silently prowl underwater to unleash havoc on enemy forces. But the Indian armed forces continue to grapple with huge shortages in the “fighting ranks“ of its officer cadres.

Latest statistics tabled by defence minister Manohar Parrikar in House show that virtually all the shortages in the armed forces are in the “non-select ranks“ of Lt Colonels (Commander in Navy , Wing Commander in IAF) and below.

The 11.77 lakh strong Indian Army , the second-largest in the world after China's People's Liberation Army , for instance, is short of 7,989 officers in its total “authorized strength“ of 47,574.Alarmingly , the shortfall is 7,764 among Lt Cols, Majors, Captains and Lieutenants.“An infantry battalion is authorized 21 officers but most are making do with a dozen or so. Apart from the general shortage, officers also have to leave their battalions for regular courses,“ said an officer.

The shortfall of Lieutenant Commanders and below in the Navy stands at 1,499, while it is 357 in the ranks of Wing Commanders and below in IAF. But there is no dearth of brass in the “topheavy“ armed forces. The Army , for instance, now has as many as 90 Lt Generals, 297 Major Generals and 1,127 Brigadiers. Jawans, of course, pose no problem in a developing country like India, where unemployment is rampant and a government job with pension the ultimate ambition. “We get around 34 lakh candidates in recruitment rallies around the country every year for just about 60,000-70,000 vacancies for ja wans,“ said an officer.

The worry is in the officer ranks.Glitzy advertising campaigns to attract youngsters to become “officers and gentlemen“ are obviously not doing the trick. “The 6th Pay Commission has made military salaries more attractive than ever before but they are far outstripped by the pay packages and perks brandished by the corporate sector,“ said a senior officer. Importantly , the “perceived high degree of risk“ in mili tary careers, whether it is battling mili tants or flying ageing aircraft, the dis ruption in family life and poor promotional avenues in the pyramidal structures of the forces, all combine to dissuade youngsters with “officer-like qualities“ from joining the forces.

The lack of adequate officer training capacity in the armed forces is also a fac tor, even though all the three Services have now ramped up their academies.

Apart from the tri-Service National Defence Academy at Kadakwasla, the Army now has the Officers' Training A cademy (OTA) in Gaya to add to the Indi an Military Academy in Dehradun and OTA in Chennai.

War `memorial

Centre's inertia on national war `memorial annoys armed forces

Rs 100cr grant set to lapse on March 31, 2015

Indian soldiers killed in conflicts: 2947-2014

The Times of India

Feb 15 2015

Rajat Pandit

The armed forces are increasingly getting upset at the Modi government's failure to even kick off the process for constructing the long-pending National War Memorial (NWM) despite allocating Rs 100 crore for it in the Union Budget in July,2014 . The defence ministry (MoD) has neither finalized the Cabinet note for the NWM, nor launched the socalled “global search“ for the architect to design it till now.“The Rs 100 crore allocation will lapse at the end of this fiscal (March 31) without even the preliminary steps being taken,“ said a source.

It will take at least five years for the entire complex -the NWM, its adjoining museum and underground parking -to come up near India Gate at a cost of around Rs 500 crore.“It will take over a year to just select the architect in the proposed competition, and another two years after the contract is inked to build just the memorial,“ the source said.

Asked about the delay , MoD officials said “exploratory consultations“ were still in progress on the NWM's basic design and construction since the PM wanted a “world class“ structure. “Moreover, there is the question of what all the museum should house.Various options are being examined,“ said an official. But the glacial pace is galling for the armed forces, given that the NWM was first mooted way back in 1960. “India is probably the only country that does not have a dedicated NWM. In August last year, the three service chiefs had again briefed then defence minister Arun Jaitley on the matter.But nothing much has happened,“ said a senior officer.

The huge delay in the NWM is a highly emotive issue for the armed forces. “It's extremely sad that successive governments have not built the NWM to honour the soldiers who laid down their lives to guard an independent India.“

For the full report, log on to

Navy tests BrahMos from INS Kolkata

The Navy on Saturday successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from its latest stealth destroyer INS Kokata, the largestever warship built in India till now, during its ongoing major Tropex exercise in the Arabian Sea. The 290-km deadly conventional missile hit its target with pinpoint accuracy during this first-ever vertical launch from the 6,800-tonne INS Kolkata, which was commissioned in August, 2014.

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