Territorial Army (Download PDF)


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The Territorial Army is defined as the second line of defence which is not at all a source of profession, occupation or employment. Every year the volunteers belonging to the Indian Army serve in uniform for few days to prepare themselves in times of emergency. Those who are already in the mainstream civilian profession can join the Territorial Army wing.

Image show in what is Territorial Army?

Image Show in What is Territorial Army?

Image show in what is Territorial Army?


  • In order to release the regular troops from garrison duties during the First World War, the Britishers formed the Indian Defence Force Oct 9,1917.

  • The Indian Defence Force Act consisted of Europeans and Indians in separate sections.

  • In 1920 the Indian Defence Force was replaced by The Territorial Army.

  • The first Governor-General of India inaugurated the Territorial Army on 9th Oct 1949. The Territorial Army act was passed in 1948.

  • The 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 were the various units of the Territorial Army initially which were converted later on to Regular Army Units with the exception of infantry battalions.

  • In 1962,1965 and 1971 wartimes, the Territorial Army Units were actively involved.

  • Bothe Inside and Outside India, this army unit has played a vital role such as in Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, Operation Rakshak in Punjab & J&K, Operation Rhino and Operation Bajrang in the North East.

  • The various departmental units also came to the rescue of the civilian population during industrial unrest and natural calamities, most famous being earthquake in Latur (Maharashtra), Uttarkashi in Garhwal Himalaya and the super cyclone in Odisha.

Structure and Role

  • The Territorial Army has a strength of approximately 40,000 first line troops (and 160,000 second line troops) comprising departmental Territorial Army units such as railway, IOC, ONGC, telecommunication and General Hospital, and the non-departmental Territorial Army units of infantry battalions and ecological battalions affiliated to various infantry regiments.

  • Being an important part of the Regular Indian Army, the present role of the Territorial Army is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where life of the communities is affected or the security of the country is threatened. It also assists the regular Indian Army by providing the Territorial Army units.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 9, 2019

International Relations/Organizations, Defense

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