Indian Armed Forces

Indian Armed Forces are the defence systems of Republic of India. These forces are responsible for the country’s security. The armed forces are divided into three professional uniformed services: 1. Indian Army, 2. Indian Navy 3. Indian Air Force.  They are further supported by the Indian Coast Guard and other Paramilitary Forces. All together, they form the Defence system of India.

According to the recent statistics, India has the second largest military force in the world. It has more than 1.4 million active personnel. The main objective of Indian Armed Forces is to safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India.

Historical Background

The first reference of armies in Indian context is found in the Vedas. The first naval dock of India belongs to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Indian Army

The British Indian Army is the predecessor of the Indian Army. The Army came into formal existence in 1895. It was called the Army of Government of India. This army is divided into two branches: British Army in India and Indian Army. Later in 1903, the two units are merged to form Army of India. This was decommissioned in 1947 after independence.

Indian Navy

The Royal Indian Navy was formed in 1612 under the East India Company. In 1892, Royal Indian Navy became a component of Royal Indian Marine. It was later named as Royal Indian Navy in 1934. In 1950 when India became republic, it is renamed as Indian Navy.

Indian Air force

The Royal Indian Air force was established in 1932 as an auxiliary air force to the British Empire. It became the Indian Airforce in January 1950 after India became republic.

President as Supreme Commander of Indian Armed Forces

The President of India is the Supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The forces are managed by the Ministry of Defence. The constitution mentions President as the Supreme Commander of the forces but the real control lies with the executive.

Role and Status

The Forces protect and defends the country from any foreign attacks. They also extend help to civilians in case of natural calamities. They participate in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations.

  • Indian Army is the second largest in the world and is headed by Chief of Army Staff.
  • Indian Navy is the fourth largest in the world and is headed by Chief of Naval Staff.
  • The Indian Airforce is the ranked as the fourth leading air force in the world. It is headed by the Chief of Air Staff.

The three armed forces are supported by National Cadet Corps and 12 Paramilitary forces in protecting the nation. The paramilitary forces include, Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Central Industrial Security force, Central Reserve Police Force, Indo Tibetan Border Force, National Security Guard, Sashastra Seema Bal, Special Frontier Force, Indian Coast guard, etc. Unlike Armed forces, the Paramilitary forces function under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs.

Significance of armed forces

India shares its borders with 7 countries and maritime borders with rest of the world. In the current age of nuclear powered nations, a strong armed force is necessary to face the adversities of war. The government over time has been allocating great portions of annual budget to improve defence conditions of India. Massive changes are being made to stay updated. The armed forces have always been the pillars of strength to India. In times of war and natural disasters. They are the bulwarks of Indian honour and patriotism.

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