Indian army, the largest part of the Indian Armed Forces, is an all volunteer force that contributes over 80% of the active defense force of the country. Being one of the largest standing armies in the world, Indian army has as many as 1129900 active and 960000 reserve personals.
Carrying a motto of “Service Before Self”, the army has fought many wars in both pre and post independence era. At present, it is divided both geographically and operationally in 7 commands.
The history of the Indian armed force dates back to year 1776 when under the government of East India Company, a department of military was established in Kolkata. This followed by its being recognized as Military Department through Charter Act of Year 1833, in the presidencies of Bengal, Bombay and Madras. Almost 60 years later in 1895, all armies of various presidencies were centralized and names as Indian Army. In the 19th Century, Indian army played an important role in British forces in both World War I and II.
Some sections of British Indian Army also given force to the India’s independence movement by rising-up and fighting British and joining the Indian National Army raised by the likes of col Mohan Singh and later on by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Just one year before the Independence, the Indian Navy rose-up against British, know as Mutiny of British Indian Navy. After Independence in 1947, that time’s Gorkha regiments were divided among the British Army, India and Pakistan.
Since Independence, the Indian army has been into many wars and conflicts mainly with Pakistan including First Kashmir War (1947), Annexation of state of Hyderabad (1948), Annexation of Goa, Daman and Diu (1961), Sino-Indian War (1962), Indo-Pak War (1965), Sino-Indian Conflict (1967), Bangladesh Liberation War (1971), Siachen conflict (1984), Counter-insurgency since 1980s and Kargil war (1999). Besides this, the Indian army is involved in the global peace missions worldwide with being the largest contributor in the UN peacekeeping missions.
The organizational structure of the Indian army is mostly inherited from British army of pre independence era. Therefor, the infantry regiments don’t take direct part in field operations and instead send their well trained battalions for operations. Generally, the troops of a single regiment spend their entire career in it, taking immense pride and loyalty in the regiment they are assigned to. The recruitment in these regiments are done through a unique selection criteria including region and ethnicity. While some regiments like Jat regiment and Sikh regiment continue the heritage of the British Raj, the regiments like Arunachal Scouts and Sikkim Scouts have raised after independence. Besides the infantry regiments, the Indian army also consists the regiments of Artillery and Armour.
Headquartered in the National Capital, the Indian Army has an immense strength of over 1 million troops along with 34 divisions and 13 corps.
The corps are divided into divisions, which are further divided into Brigade, Battalion, Company, Platoon and Section, in the same order.
The union of India aims to modernize the Indian army in the aspects of skills, strength and weapons. The ambitious F-INSAS (Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System) program, which is a principle program of Indian army for the infantry modernization, aims to modernize as many as 465 infantries by year 2020. besides this, the modernization program spans across various segments including Tanks & Armoured vehicles, missiles, Artillery, Small Arms and Army Aviation.