Evolution of Indian Defence Forces

4 mn read

The Indian Defence Forces are the military forces of India. It includes three noble forces: the Indian Navy, Indian Army and Indian Air force. In addition to it, the Indian Defence forces are backed with the support of the paramilitary organisations and the Indian Coast guard. Numerous inter service commands and institutions like the Andaman and Nicobar Command, the Strategic forces command and the Integrated defence staff provide helping hand to the Indian Defence forces. The principle command of the Indian defence forces vests with the President of India. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) manages and supervises the operations of the defence forces. It holds the strength of 14 lakh active personnel, this makes it the second largest military force in the world. As per the global firepower report 2020, the Indian defence forces comes at fourth position as the most powerful military across the globe. 

Indian youth forms the biggest strength of the Indian Defence forces. Their active participation has made Indian defence forces invincible. For selecting potential personnel, Indian defence forces conduct numerous exams such as CDS, NDA, AFCAT etc. There are lakhs of students who prepare to appear for the NDA exam. If anyone seeks sterling guidance while studying for the exam, they can approach a brilliant institute that offers the NDA coaching in Chandigarh. Every defence exam aspirant should know the evolution of the Indian Defence forces. 


The evolution of Indian Defence forces is explained in brief points below:


  1. British India (1857-1947)


During the first world war, the Indian Defence forces deployed a number of divisions and brigades to the Mediterranean, European and Middle Eastern plots of war. Around one million Indian soldiers served overseas, 67,000 were wounded and around 62,000 died. Around 74,000 soldiers died in the war. Indian troops were also sent to Gallipoli, Egypt and approximately 7,00,000 served in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire. During World War- I, Indian Defence forces emerged as the world’s most powerful forces. 


In the second world war, the Indian Army participated in the war in 1939 with approximately 2,00,000 men. After this war, Indian Defence forces became the largest volunteer army, rising to over 2.5 million manforce by August 1945. 

At the end of antagonism in 1945, the corps of Indian Army’s officers includes Medical services officer, Indian Major General, three Indian brogradiers, IMS brigadier and 220 other Indian Officers in acting or temporary ranks of a colonel and lieutenant colonel. By June 1947, Indian Army had only 14 Indian officers at the rank of brigadier in the defence arms. It didn’t have Indian flags and air officers in the fighting arms of the defence forces.  


  1. Post Independence (1947-1950)


Post Independence, Indian armed forces went through extreme turbulence. The Indian troops were forcibly divided among India and Pakistan after partition. Ships, weapons, aircraft and other equipment were allocated to the respective countries. After partition, Indian Defence forces were diversified into following:


  • Indian Army: 12 armoured corps units, 15 infantry regiments, 61 engineer units and 18.5 artillery regiments. 

  • The Royal Indian Navy:  two frigates,  Four sloops, one corvette, 12 minesweepers, one survey vessel, four harbour defence launches, four armed trawlers and all landing craft of the pre-Independence.

  • The Royal Indian Air force: A total of seven fighter squadrons and one transport squadron of aircraft. 


The Indian Defence forces participated in multiple military operations such as Operation Polo and Indo-Pakistan War of 1947. This shows that Indian defence forces were not only efficient in fighting battles but conducted many rescue missions as well.


Since the inception of Indian Defence forces, youngsters have made a significant part of them. If you are also aiming to be part of the Indian Defence forces, then start preparing for the CDS exam. You can choose to join an eminent institute that provides excellent CDS coaching classes in Chandigarh for effective preparation. 


  1. Current status


After becoming a sovereign republic on 26 January 1950, some of the last souvenirs of British rule- such as imperial crowns, rank badges etc were replaced with Indian flag and Lion Capital of Asoka. The remaining segments of Imperial Service Troops of the former princely states were combined with the regular Indian Army as on 1 April 1951. The chiefs of staff of Indian Navy and Indian Air force were promoted to four- star rank on par with the Indian Army Chief in 1966 and 1968, respectively. 


There are four major wars fought by India against Pakistan in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999 and with China in 1962. India’s victory over Pakistan in 1971 gave birth to a new country called Bangladesh. The Defence forces also carried out many peacemaking missions in collaboration with the United Nations organization. 


The Indian Air forces played a major role in conducting various relief operations. During the 2010 Ladakh floods and Uttarakhand floods, the Indian Air forces saved the lives of many people. They also conducted operation Rahat and rescued around 4700 Indian Citizens from Yemen in 2015. 

The Indian Air forces are one of the prestigious segments of defence forces. Graduates can easily join these forces by qualifying the AFCAT exam. Some rely on self-study and others join a coaching institute for effective preparation. If anyone needs splendid guidance while studying for the exam, they can join a leading AFCAT coaching institute in Chandigarh



India always had capable and brave personnel in its defence forces. Their gallant efforts have always safeguarded the country from unknown danger and attacks. With the flux of time, the Defence forces of India have always upgraded their armed weapons to enhance operational efficiency. Their dedication and commitment has always earned them a great respect and honor.

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