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The Territorial Army (TA) in India is a part-time, voluntary military organization. It is a reserve component of the Indian Army and provides an opportunity for citizens to serve their country while pursuing their civilian careers. Here are some key points about the Territorial Army:
The Territorial Army provides an avenue for those who wish to contribute to national security and serve their nation while maintaining their civilian careers. It promotes the spirit of patriotism and enables individuals to make a meaningful contribution to the defense of India.
EVOLUTION OF TA IN THE INDIAN CONTEXT
The genesis of the Territorial Army in India can be traced back to the first war of Independence in 1857, when a Volunteer Force was raised. In 1917 Indian Defence Force Act was enacted. Under the Indian Defence Force Act all the universities were asked to provide contingents to the Defence Force. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose joined the Calcutta University Corps of Indian Defence Force in 1918. Training with the University Corps helped him later in leading the Indian National Army in the struggle for freedom. Pt Jawharlal Nehru was part of the Allahabad University Corps. As a matter of interest Mahatma Gandhi also joined the South Africa Volunteer Force in 1898 and 1905 and was a Sergeant Maj with the Indian Ambulance Corps during the Boer war and Zulu rebellion.
The Indian Defence Force consisted of two branches, viz the European Branch consisting of the Old Volunteer Force under the designation of `Auxiliary Force’ and the Indian Branch which later on become part of the Indian Territorial Force. The Territorial Force was constituted for service within the limits of Indian Frontiers.
Sir Charles Monroe, Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, in India introduced a bill in the Indian Legislative Council on 27th Aug 1920 to constitute an Indian Territorial Force which was duly passed. In the `Statement of the Objects and Reasons’ he stated that Indian Defence Force, 1917 was but an experimental measure and on account of the paucity of trained personnel and owing to the heavy demands from the Regular Force. The Indian Territorial Force was aimed at forming a second line of defence to the Regular Army.
The Indian Territorial Force in its original form comprised of Provincial Units, Urban Units Medical Units and University Training Corps. The Provincial Units of the Indian Territorial Force also had Artillery units like The Bengal Artillery, No 3 (Madras) Field Battery “The Duke’s Own“ etc. Signal units like No 1 (Madras) Signal Company; Infantry units consisted of Railway Regts like The Nagpur Rifles, The Punjab Rifles to name a few; Mounted Volunteer Force consisted of The Bihar Light Horse, The Calcutta Light Horse, The Assam Valley Light Horse, The United Provinces Horse etc.
The Territorial Army in its current form came into being when the Territorial Army Act was enacted on Aug 18, 1948. Initially, the Territorial Army consisted of Infantry, Armoured Corps, Air Defence Artillery, Signals, Supply and other departmental units.
The Territorial Army was formally inaugurated by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949. This day is being celebrated as the Territorial Army Day. To make the countrymen conscious of existence of the ‘Citizen’s Army’ the first Territorial Army week was celebrated from 08-15 Nov 1952.
Presently the Territorial Army has a strength of approx fifty thousand personnel comprising 65 Departmental and Non Departmental units, having footprint through the length and breadth of the country.
What are the options in TA
Infantry battalion: There are 40 units affiliated to various regiments of the Indian Army
H& H TA: These battalions are based on the concept of sons of the soil
Engineer TA: These battalions are deployed for maintenance of the line of control
Ecological TA: There are ten ecological TA battalions which are sponsored by various state governments. TA Battalions use technical expertise of the respective State Forest Department (SFD), for afforestation related activities, Soil Conservation to promote the environment.
During national emergency and natural calamities these Territorial Army personnel are embodiment in which they are liable to perform the assigned duties. The TA personnel of these units perform the same task which they do in their parent department i.e. in IOC
During national emergency and natural calamities these Territorial Army personnel are embodiment in which they are liable to perform the assigned duties. The TA personnel of these units perform the same task which they do in their parent department i.e. in Railways
During national emergency and natural calamities these Territorial Army personnel are embodiment in which they are liable to perform the assigned duties. The TA personnel of these units perform the same task which they do in their parent department i.e. in ONGC
INCENTIVES AND SERVICE BENEFITS
Following incentives and service benefits are available to Territorial Army:-
Certain State Govts and Departments give the following incentives to TA personnel:-
All personnel of Infantry and Departmental TA will be called out for service embodiment by the Central Government or the authority empowered by it to do so, on the eve of National Emergency or for Internal Security duties and training exercises. Failure to report for service on such occasion is punishable under the Territorial Army Act 1948.
Territorial Army personnel are entitled to the following benefits from the Defence Estimates during embodiment for training and service embodiment:-
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