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Territorial Army- History and Growth in India

How Territorial Army came into existence

The Indian Army is the brainchild of Britishers who ruled our country for almost two decades. The oppression and cruelty that they forced upon the Indian citizens are unimaginable now. But, they did help us find a way to be more progressive. They gave us railways, banned Sati System, united us all and lastly, gave structure to our defence forces. Everyone knows that today’s Indian Army was pre-independent India’s British Indian Army. However, the birth and existence of the Territorial Army is still unknown to the masses. 

On 9 October 1917 the British established the Indian Defence Force (IDF) a fighting troop incorporating both European and Indian soldiers in two different sections. The idea behind establishing the Indian Defence Force was to release the regular soldiers from garrison duties during World War-I. The IDF has separate sections for British and Indian soldiers just like the British Indian Army of the time. The Indian Unit had British officers and Indian other ranks, whereas, the British Unit consisted of all British. 

The Indian Soldiers were volunteers but the Indian Defence Force 1917 made it compulsory for the British between the age of 16 to 50 residing permanently in India to join the Army. 

The British conscripts did not like the idea of the Indian defence Force. They did not want it to be alike for the Indian Soldiers. Hence, in 1920 it was replaced  by:

  • Auxiliary Force: It had European and Eurasian Officers as well as soldiers. 
  • Indian Territorial Army/ Force: It had British officers and Indian Other ranks including Soldiers. 

After living under the shed of the British for 32 years, first as the Indian Defence Force and later as the Indian Territorial Army/ Force, the modern Territorial Army was inaugurated on 9 October 1949 by the First Indian Governor-General of India, C. Rajagopalachari. The Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948. Initially, the Territorial army had many units under it like, armoured regiments, infantry battalions, air defence, medical regiments, engineers field park companies, signal regiments, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) workshops, coast batteries, Army Service Corps GT Coy, ASC Compo Pl, and AMC field ambulances. 

But by 1972, all these units were either disbanded or converted to the Regular Indian Army along with the expansion of infantry battalions. 

Opportunities in Territorial Army

Today, the Territorial Army is one of the main opportunities to join the Indian Army. Although it is not the first line of defence, it does not make any huge difference as the idea is to serve the nation. To become an officer in the Territorial Army an extensive study of the syllabus is a must. The Shaurya Bharat app is the way to clear the TA exam in one go. The app gives the best notes and lectures to understand every topic. A team of highly experienced teachers work day and night for the app making sure that no student lags behind. The regular discussions on previous years’ question papers help students understand the pattern of the paper. 

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