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Ministry of Defence

Indian Army Day

Posted On: 15 JAN 2024 6:11PM

“On Army Day, we honour the extraordinary courage, unwavering commitment and sacrifices of our Army personnel. Their relentless dedication in protecting our nation and upholding our sovereignty is a testament to their bravery. They are pillars of strength and resilience.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi


Every year, 15 January is commemorated as ‘Army Day’ to remember the occasion when General (later Field Marshal) KM Cariappa took over the command of the Indian Army from General Sir FRR Bucher, the last British Commander-in-Chief in 1949 and became the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of Independent India.

The Indian Army originated from armies of the East India Company which later became the British Indian Army and the Princely States Army, and after independence in 1947, merged into the National Army of India. The units of the Indian Army have fought many battles in the past where they gained honor for the country with their bravery.

The Indian Army has the sole objective of protecting the nation from any foreign aggression that arises, ensuring the nation's security. They also try to protect the nation from internal threats. During natural calamities, the Indian Army conducts humanitarian rescue operations to save people's lives.

Transformation of the Indian Army


2023 was the Year of Transformation for the Indian Army. The process of transformation hinges on the five pillars-

  • Force Structuring & Optimization
  • Modernization & Technology Infusion
  • Systems, Processes & Functions
  • Human Resource Management
  • Jointness & Integration

Force Restructuring & Optimization


Modernisation & Technology Infusion

A roadmap has been put in place for Upgrades, New Acquisitions & infusion of niche technology. The right balance between ‘Conventional’ and ‘New’ capabilities is being maintained. A focused approach is being followed to ensure timely & pragmatic trials.

  • Conclusion of 85 Capital Contracts: A total of 85 Capital Contracts worth Rs. 12,343 crore have been concluded in the current Financial Year 2023-2024. This will boost the capability of the Indian Army in the domain of mobilization, firepower, communication/noncommunication, Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) & Drone/Counter-Drone Systems.
  • Induction of Niche Technology through iDEX: Four Projects worth Rs.70 crore have been contracted this year, thereby paving the way for the induction of Niche Tech in communication, ISR & stealth Technology. It is also a step towards providing impetus in developments favourable to the defense ecosystem.
  • Exploiting 5G/6G and Artificial Intelligence: The Indian Army has collaborated with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to develop advanced electronics and infrastructure, aligning with Digital India and Make in India initiatives. 5G laboratories have been established at various locations including the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE). In addition, Military grade 5G and 6G laboratories are being established at various locations. MCTE has been developed as a key Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence.
  • Emergency Procurements(EP): The EP was utilized to augment capability along the Northern and Western Front besides catering for training aggregates. The equipment procured under the EP is being fully exploited by field formations to refine their operational philosophy, TTPs, and maintenance support requirements. In Financial Years 2020-22, 68 projects, worth Rs. 6,592 crore were procured while 73 projects, worth Rs. 11,000 crore have been procured between the Financial Years 2022-24.
  • Impetus to Make in India: The Indian Army has given stimulus to Make in India initiatives and provided platforms to indigenous defense industries to showcase their capabilities to friendly foreign countries.

System, Processes & Functions

  • Efforts have been focused on Right-sizing and Ease of Doing Business: Digital initiatives have been undertaken in a major way to effect improved efficiencies in domains of Operational Enablement.
  • National Logistics Policy & PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan: The Indian Army has been an important partner in the Prime Minister Gati Shakti National Master Plan and formulation of NLP. Efforts have been made to align initiatives undertaken by the Indian Army to the national vision.
  • SPARSH: As part of digitization and making the benefits more accessible, SPARSH has been adopted by the new pensioners as approximately 95% of legacy pensioners have migrated to SPARSH. SPARSH is an internet-based fully automated project outsourced by CGDA for sanction, computation, revision and disbursement of pension. The objective of the project is ‘Right Pension to Right Person at Right Time’ through a single source i.e. PCDA (P) by delinking banks, Defence Pension Disbursing Offices and other pension disbursing agencies.

Human Resource Management

  • Making Short Service Commission more attractive: Given the global trends and rightsizing initiatives, the IA is attempting to make SSC more attractive. Draft Cabinet Note based on Tri-Services proposal to make SSC attractive has been prepared.
  • Women in the Indian Army: The Indian Army is committed to promoting gender neutrality. It is encouraging women officers to join the force by adopting enabling policies for their inclusion. Recent major initiatives are as under:
  • Permanent Commission (PC) is being granted to Women Officers (WOs) in 12 Arms & Services (in addition to the Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps, and Military Nursing Service) where they are commissioned. Indian Army has ensured parity amongst WOs and their male counterparts with a complete gender-neutral environment existing in the 12 Arms/ Services they are presently serving in. A special board to screen all affected WOs has been held and the results have been declassified. In regular boards also, WOs are being considered for grant of PC along with their male counterparts.
  • The Armed Forces have opened entry for women candidates in the National Defence Academy (NDA) with 19 cadets including 10 for Indian Army joining the academy every six months. First, Second, and Third batches of women cadets started training in NDA with effect from July 2022, January 2023, and July 2023 respectively. The organization is ensuring inclusive measures to carry out all necessary administrative, training, and policy changes to enable the same.
  • The Indian Army has also opened avenues for WOs to serve as pilots in the Corps of Army Aviation.
  • WOs are also being considered for Colonel (Select Grade) ranks and are being given command appointments. Certain waivers have also been given to WOs to rule out any impediment in the career progression of those who could not undergo mandatory career courses during the transition period.
  • Provision for enrolment of women as Other Ranks (ORs) in the Corps of Military Police in the Indian Army has been introduced in 2019. Under the scheme, 1,700 women are targeted to be inducted in the Indian Army in a phased manner (approximately 100 per year).
  • Command by Women Officers: The command of units by Women Officers has commenced. This has tremendous potential and all efforts are on to ensure that this opportunity is capitalized by adequate guidance and support.
  • Participation by JCOs/NCOs in Foreign Courses: As a new initiative, the participation of JCOs/ NCOs in foreign courses has been enhanced from erstwhile 2-3 vacancies to 13-14 vacancies now. The majority of these course vacancies are in the UK, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal & Philippines. The focus has been on enhancing expertise and skills in the Military Special Domain (Sniper, Jungle Warfare, Commando, and Combat Training).
  • ECHS Network Expansion: The ECHS has gained credibility with time and has grown both in size and stature with 30 Regional Centres and 433 Polyclinics pan India and 58 lakh beneficiaries, including Gorkha Domiciles for Nepal. Efforts are being made to enhance its efficacy and reach through the empanelment of more hospitals.
  • Agnipath Scheme: The first two batches (40,000) have completed their training and are under posting to allotted units. Agniveers (including 100 women) underwent training at 40 Regimental Centres & Training Centres in two groups. Training for 20,000 Agniveers of the 3rd Batch commenced with effect from 1st November 2023 and for the 4th Batch will commence soon. The feedback of the first two batches is encouraging and the trainees have met the desired standards. To make Agniveers responsible citizens of the nation, apart from the Personal Development Programme (PDP) basic foundation courses and info tech have been included as part of Basic Military Training (BMT).


  • Veerangana Sewa Kendra: VSK, operationalized in November 2022, was launched by IA as a proactive single window facility for info-dissemination, query response, and grievances-redress for widows & Next of Kin. The project leverages digital technology to connect various stakeholders on a common digital platform. The system provides Widows/ Next of Kin, multiple means for approaching VSK through tele call, SMS, WhatsApp, Post, e-mail, and walk-ins to seek assistance. It has been a huge success.


  • Placements by Army Welfare Placement Organisation: In the last five years, the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPO) has successfully placed 1,439 officers, 15,332 JCOs & 74,982 Other Ranks in various education institutes, autonomous bodies and government/ semi-government organizations.


Jointness & Integration: Jointness and integration have been pursued by Indian Army in the right earnest in close coordination with Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.

Indian Army’s Actions at a Glance


Operational Preparedness: The Indian Army maintains a high state of preparedness and ensures stability & dominance along all the frontiers including Line of Actual Control (LAC) and Line of Control (LOC). Relentless Counter Terrorist operations are also carried out while maintaining high training standards and constantly reviewing emerging & future threats to national security.[3]

Northern Borders: The Indian Army conducts exercises and establish border mechanisms to maintain peace and tranquility along the LAC in all sectors.

LoC & Counter-Terrorist Ops: Jammu and Kashmir has recorded the arrival of more than two crore tourists up to November 2023, which is much beyond the number in the year 2022. Synergised counter-terrorist operations also resulted in the elimination of 34 terrorists and the apprehension of four terrorists in the hinterland. 18 infiltration bids were eliminated on LoC in which 36 terrorists were killed besides the recovery of large war-like stores.

North East: The balanced posture of firm & compassionate outlook by the Indian Army & Assam Rifles in militancy affected North Eastern part of the country is evident through both tangible & intangible outcomes. This is reflected by results in operations against militant groups, mainstreaming of militants, and the critical decision of the Government of India to reduce areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA-1958).

Manipur: The Indian Army and Assam Rifles have played a key role in controlling the internal security situation in Manipur and saving precious lives, property and evacuating approximately 35,000 internally displaced population to safety. Security Forces have been assisting the civil administration and other security agencies with a neutral and transparent approach to restore peace and normalcy in the State.[4]


Indian Army’s Contribution in Nation-Building


Mission Amrit Sarovar: The Indian Army is contributing towards the initiative of Mission Amrit Sarovar having created 450 ponds. 75 ponds are being created or resuscitated by each Regional Commands.

Adoption of Millets in Ration: In consonance with the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets, the Indian Army has taken measures to adopt millets in ration. Approval was accorded for the issue of millet flour up to 25 percent (Bajra, Jowar & Ragi at 10:10:05 respectively) of Wheat Atta whole Meal/ Rice authorised in the existing scale of ration. Procurement has commenced and millet flour is now being issued to all ranks.

Vidyanjali Initiative: 134 Army Public Schools have adopted at least one Government/ Government aided school in their vicinity that would be part of the mentor-mentee programme. A total of 160 schools have been adopted under this initiative.


Operation Dost: Indian Army Field Hospital, comprising 99 persons including various Specialists and Paramedics, established a Disaster Relief Hospital at Iskenderun, Hatay Province, Turkey in February 2023. The hospital consisted of an Operation Theatre and Trauma Care Centre. The Specialists (Medical, Surgical, Anaesthetists, Ortho, Maxillofacial and Community Med) rendered medical assistance to earthquake victims. Beside this, a Woman Medical Officer was also sent to render medical care to female patients/ casualties. This action by Indian Army earned huge positive sentiment enhancing our national image.

HADR Operations: Based on requisition received from civil administration, Indian Army deployed 107 columns (including 18 Engineer Task Forces) in 13 states of the country for Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Relief in 2023.


Defence Diplomacy


Cooperation activities: In keeping with India's rising global stature in recent years, there has been a considerable increase in Defense cooperation activities undertaken by the Indian Army. Accordingly, an increasing number of friendly countries have shown keen interest to engage with the Indian Army, which is the world's second-largest standing Army with extensive combat experience and exemplary training standards. Indian Army is engaging with 110 countries through defense cooperation activities.

Joint Exercises: The Indian Army is participating in 39 exercises, out of which the Indian Army is lead Service in 28 exercises. Keeping in mind the impetus on jointmanship and the impending Theaterisation, eight Indian Army lead exercises have been converted to Bi-Service & six to Tri-Services format.


IPACC, IPAMS & SELF: Indian Army has undertaken efforts to enhance collective understanding of common challenges in Indo-Pacific Region, exchange ideas and development strong relationship built upon shared democratic valves and growing convergences on bilateral, regional & global issues. Indian Army and US Army co-hosted the 13th Indo- Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference (IPACC), 47th Indo-Pacific Armies Management Seminar (IPAMS) and 9th Senior Enlisted Leaders Forum (SELF) in September 2023. Thirty countries participated in the event and an unprecedented number of 18 countries were represented by Chiefs of their respective Armies and 12 countries were represented by Heads of Delegation.[5]

Beyond its operational preparedness and role in ensuring national security, the Indian Army's engagement in nation-building endeavors, defense diplomacy, and international cooperation further solidifies its multifaceted contributions to India's growth and stability on the global stage.




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