Over half of Army personnel under serious tension: study
More personnel lost every year due to suicides, fratricides and untoward events than in reaction to any opponent or terrorist activities: USI
More than half of Indian Army personnel seem to be under serious stress and the Army has been losing more personnel every year due to suicides, fratricides and unfortunate occurrences than in response to any opponent or terrorist activities, according to the findings of a study by Service think tank, the United Service Institution of India (USI).
” There has actually been a substantial boost in stress levels amongst Indian Army personnel throughout around last 20 years due to functional and non-operational stress factors,” one of the findings states. “Prolonged direct exposure of Indian Army workers to Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism (CI/CT) environment has actually been among the contributory aspects for increased tension levels,” the research study notes.
The research was undertaken during 2019-20 by Col. AK Mor, Senior Citizen Research Study Fellow at the USI and provided at a webinar entitled “Prevailing Tension Levels in Indian Army due to Prolonged Exposure to Counter Insurgency/Counter Terrorism environment” organised in October 2020 and submitted on the site on December 07, 2020.
While functional stressors are well comprehended and accepted by Army workers, the study states that non-operational stress factors that add on “have compounding adverse effects on health and combat performance of soldiers and therefore impacting their particular systems too.”
In this regard, officers experience relatively much higher cumulative tension levels, compared to the Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO) and Other Ranks (OR) and the stress causative elements are also various.
The research study observes that the general job satisfaction and pride in uniform remains high amongst JCOs and ORs. “It seems to be a growing matter of issue amongst Officers, needing immediate interventions from the greatest levels of Federal government.”
” Despite harsh and challenging service conditions, Indian Army personnel stay extremely encouraged to serve in CI/ CT locations willingly … However, the Officers do not have a similar level of trust, faith and confidence in their management that JCOs and ORs show,” it states.
Observing that different management measures executed by the Army and Defence Ministry throughout the last 15 years have not been able to attain the preferred results, the stdy said, “Systems and sub-units under stress are likely to witness an increased number of events of indiscipline, unacceptable state of training, insufficient upkeep of devices and low morale, inspiration and esprit-de-corps, thus, adversely affecting their fight readiness and functional efficiency.”
Calling for an institutionalised approach, the study recommended that tension avoidance and management ought to be treated “as a leadership function at Unit and Development level.”
Some of the significant organisational reasons for tension amongst Officers according to the study consist of, insufficiencies in the quality of leadership, overburdened commitments, inadequate resources, regular dislocations, absence of fairness and transparency in postings and promos, down gradation in pay and status, insufficient advertising opportunities, absence of inspiration amongst juniors, non-grant of leave, indifferent mindset of civilian authorities and short command tenures.”
For JCOs and ORs, some of the perceived organisational stressors include “hold-up and denial of leave, extreme engagements, domestic issues, humiliation by seniors, lack of dignity, unreasonable restrictions on use of mobiles, lack of recreational facilities, conflict with elders in addition to subordinates, health problems, the inadequacy of train reservation, ineffective administrative support, financial issues, absence of transparency in promotions, non-adherence to system tarteebs, delay in crediting of financial claims and poor quality of provisions as well as cooked food.”
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