TA: Blog 3 by Gen Chaturvedi
Gen Dev Chaturvedi has always been a fun loving guy with multiple talents. He was representing IMA in Tennis and Squash. We are both from Keren Company at IMA. We had two good long jumpers in our Company and there was a serious tussle between them during our internal athletics trials. Dev was keenly following the tussle and went to witness the trial and also jumped with them. He beat both of them in the trial & then decided not to participate in athletics! This is his third blog.
TA: An Evolving Organization
A need was felt to utilise the locals of North and the North East region to help tackle terrorism/ militancy. Accordingly, 11 battalions comprising locals were raised in 2004-2005 including a battalion of surrendered Kashmiri militants ie Ikhwans. These battalions, known as Home & Hearth battalions, have proved their worth in acting as a bridge between the army and the locals, providing intelligence about the terrorists/ militants and carrying out operations against them alongside the army.
Great Service to India
A large number of gallantry awards have been received by individuals of these battalions and last year, Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, the peace time equivalent of the Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award of our country. Naik Nazir belonged to 162 Infantry Battalion TA ( JAK LI ) ( Ikhwan ).
Expansion, Changes & Present Status
In 2015 – 2016 three engineer regiments (TA ) were raised in J&K for maintenance of the Anti Infiltration Obstacle System ( AIOS ), colloquially known as LoC fence.
Along the way AD regiment ( TA ) was converted into infantry TA battalion and the TA hospitals were disbanded.
With these raisings and disbandment presently the TA is 65 battalions strong. These battalions fall under two categories:
- Non Departmental ( funded by MOD ).
- Departmental ( funded by other ministries).
All infantry TA battalions (32), Home and Hearth battalions (11) and engineer regiments TA (3) are under the non-departmental category. Under the Departmental category are the Ecological Task Force battalions (10), railways TA regiments (6) and oil sector (3 units) which ensure production, transportation and supply of oil during emergencies.
Structurally, the TA Directorate, located at Delhi commands all the battalions through five group HQ, co -located with the Command HQ of the Indian Army. The TA footprints are across the length and breadth of our country from Leh to Car Nicobar Island and from Jakhama to Jaisalmer.
Why have I recounted the origins, evolution and functioning of the TA? The reason is an odd question or more about the TA will invariably figure in the written entrance exam of TA. In the next blog I will tell you how to join the TA and answer all the related questions!