Expansion of Employment Scope for Women Officers in Territorial Army
In April 2023, the Union Ministry of Defence has amended the existing cadre management provisions applicable to women officers of the Territorial Army to allow them to be posted along the Line of Control (LOC).
- In 1948, the Territorial Army Act established the TA in India as a replacement for the Indian Defence Force (1917-1920) and the Indian Territorial Force (1920-1948).
- The TA is led by a three-star Director General, who is a Lieutenant General-ranking officer from the Indian Army.
- It is overseen by the Chief of Defence Staff in the Ministry of Defence’s Department of Military Affairs.
- The TA comprises two units: a departmental unit consisting of ex-servicemen and public sector undertakings such as Indian Railway employees, and a non-departmental unit consisting of privately employed citizens.
- The TA has around 40,000 members, consisting of infantry battalions, ecological task force units, railway engineer units, oil sector units, and engineer units responsible for fencing the Line of Control (LoC).
Role of the TA
The TA’s primary objective is to relieve the regular army from monotonous duties and help civil administration in responding to natural calamities and essential services maintenance. Additionally, it’s tasked with providing units for the regular army whenever needed.
The TA has played an active role in every war India has engaged in since gaining independence, including the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and the Kargil War. Furthermore, the TA has been involved in numerous operations, such as Operation Pawan (1987) in Sri Lanka, Operation Rakshak in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, Operation Rhino (1991), and Operation Bajrang (1990–1991) in Northeast India, and Operation Parakram in Jammu and Kashmir.
Eligibility and Benefits
To be eligible for the TA, individuals must work in essential civilian professions or be self-employed. Members are obligated to provide two months of paid service each year. The TA clarifies that it does not offer a full-time career, but there are no constraints on this. Many soldiers choose to remain in the TA for extended periods. TA members are entitled to the same benefits as Indian Army personnel, excluding gratuity and pension, which depend on the number of full years served.
Women Officers in Territorial Army
In 2019, the Territorial Army began enlisting women officers who were initially assigned to ecological task force units, TA oil sector units, and TA railway engineer regiment. Recently, the Ministry of Defence made changes to the existing cadre management provisions concerning female officers of the Territorial Army to broaden their career opportunities. As a result, women officers will now be deployed to work with the engineer regiments of the Territorial Army serving along the Line of Control and as staff officers at TA Group Headquarters/Directorate General of Territorial Army in New Delhi, as per the organization’s requirements. This amendment is a major stride towards gender equality in the military and will expand the role of women officers in the Territorial Army.
Month: Current Affairs - May, 2023
Category: Defence Current Affairs