The Territorial Army is a part of the Indian Army. It consists of 40,000 first line troops and 160,000 second line troops. It comprises of departmental territorial army units such as ONGC, railway, IOCL.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Territorial Army assists the Indian Army in civil administration and static duties. It provides units for the regular army during natural calamities and also in situations where the life or security of the communities are affected.
How does Territorial Army serve the country?
The Territorial Army is not a source of employment. It is created with people who are in civilian professions. The Territorial Army men are volunteers who serve in uniform for two to three months every year. The training helps them to bear arms during emergencies.
Territorial Army Raising Day
Every year the Territorial Army Raising Day is celebrated on October 9. The first Territorial Army week was celebrated in 1952 (November 8 to November 15).
The cricketer Mahindra Singh Dhoni is a paratrooper in the Territorial Army unit. The gold medal winner of 2008 Olympic games, Abhinav Bindra was made honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army.
The Indian Defence Force (IDF) was formed by the Britishers in 1917. It incorporated both Indians and Europeans. It was created to serve the first world war. The Indians in the force were volunteers but the Europeans were conscripted. (Conscription is compulsory military service). Thus, IDF was unpopular among the Britishers. And therefore, in 1920, it was replaced by the Indian Territorial Force (for Indians) and Auxiliary Force (for Europeans).
The current Territorial Army was inaugurated in 1949. It was established by the first Indian Governor General C Rajagopalachari.
The Territorial Army was actively involved during 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars. They also involved in Operation Bajrang (in North East), Operation Rakshak (Punjab), Operation Pawan (Sri Lanka). They have always come to the aid of the civil authorities during cyclones in Odisha, earthquakes and floods.