Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vote 0 Northeast to get Territorial Army’s first women’s battalion

Ians August 4th, 2009

NEW DELHI - The Territorial Army, a reserve force of trained civilians for the Indian Army, proposes to raise an all-women’s unit in the insurgency-hit northeast region, an official said Tuesday.

Presently, women can only join as doctors and nurses in the Territorial Army, which has a strength of 40,000.

There is a proposal for raising an all women’s battalion for the northeast, Maj. Gen. K.V.S. Lalotra, the additional director general of the Territorial Army, told members of parliament during a presentation on the force.

Also, in a bid to tap young talent from the corporate, engineering, IT and other fields, the Territorial Army proposes to make its training schedule more flexible to accommodate the requirements of working professionals.

There is a proposal to shorten their training period because if you are taking in an expert then you do not have to give him that much training,” Lalotra said.

Currently, on joining the Territorial Army, officers have to undergo mandatory training of four months followed by two months of training every year. This is now proposed to be cut down to one month and 14 days respectively.

The young MPs hailed the proposal.

Many politicians are keen to join the Territorial Army but considering our responsibilities towards our constituencies we can not. But this flexible training programme will solve that problem also, Deepinder Hooda, MP from Rohtak, told IANS.

The Territorial Army is a voluntary, part-time Citizen’s Army, consisting of people who are not professional soldiers but civilians eager to do their bit for the country’s defence. It acts as a reserve for the regular army in times of need and draws men from the 18-42 age group.

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