More than half of the over 13-lakh strong Indian Army personnel “seems to be under severe stress”, according to a study published by the tri-services think tank United Service Institution of India (USI). There have been over 1,100 cases of suicide among varous ranks since 2010.
The study, done by a serving Colonel and published on the USI website last month was, however, removed Friday.
“Prolonged exposure of Indian Army personnel to CI (counter- insurgency)/CT (counter-terrorism) environment has been one of the contributory factors for increased stress levels,” Colonel A.K. Mor, senior research fellow at the USI during 2019-20, noted in his study.
The Army, the study further noted, lost more personnel every year due to suicides, fratricides and untoward incidents than in response to enemy or terrorist activities. While sources in the Army have debunked the study due to its small sample size of just 400 personnel, they did admit that stress was an issue.
On 14 January last year, the USI had also organised a presentation by Colonel Mor on the topic ‘Occupational Stress in Indian Army Due to Prolonged Exposure to Counter Insurgency/ Counter-terrorism Environment’.
Welcome remarks were made by Maj Gen Rajiv Narayanan, head, Research and Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation (CS3) at USI, followed by its Chairman, Brig Narender Kumar, SM, VSM (Retd) and distinguished fellow.