Indian Territorial Army: Eligibility, Salary And Historical Background

Indian Territorial Army officers
Indian Territorial Army Officers
The Indian Territorial Army (TA) is the second line of defence after the Regular Indian Army. The present role of the Territorial Army is to assist the regular army with static duties and assist the regional strategy in dealing with natural disasters and maintenance of requisite.

Presently, the Territorial Army has approximately 40, 000 active personnel. Aspirants can join the Territorial Army as Officers and Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO). 

The Territorial Army Officers (Non-Departmental) is done for Ex-Servicemen and Civilians. For Civilians, recruitment is done for Territorial Army Officers (Non-Departmental).

What Is Indian Territorial Army? 

The Territorial Army is a reserve force for the Indian Army. The civilians who volunteer and are not able to work in the regular Army due to their employment commitments in civil have opted for Territorial Army. Raised in 1948 Territorial Army Act, 1948. They have battalions of all regiments of the Indian Army even the Para Battalion. They have participated in every operation and war fought in Independent India.


What are the roles and duties of the Territorial Army?

The Indian Territorial Army (TA) is the second line of defence after the Regular Army; it is not a profession, occupation or a source of employment. It is only meant for those people who are already in mainstay civilian professions; in fact, gainful employment or self-employment in a civil profession is a prerequisite for joining the Territorial Army.
The Territorial Army is part of the regular Indian Army. The present role of the Territorial Army is to relieve the Regular Army from static duties and assist the civil administration in dealing with natural calamities and maintenance of essential services in situations where the life of the communities is affected or the security of the country is threatened, and to provide units for the Regular Army as and when required.
The Territorial Army has a strength of approximately 40,000 first-line troops (and 160,000-second line troops) comprising departmental Territorial Army units such as railway, IOC, ONGC, telecommunication and General Hospital, and the non-departmental Territorial Army units of infantry battalions and ecological battalions affiliated to various infantry regiments.

Does a Territorial Army Officer get a salary annually?

Territorial Army Officer in India get embodied every year for a two to three months training camp and then, it gets disembodied. The personnel go back to their respective trades in the Civil; some of them are Bankers, Lawyer, Agriculturists, etc.

The rationale behind the above-mentioned exercise is that the personnel get a reorientation training every year so that they can be suitable employed as and when the need arises, without having to bear their persistent expenditure when not embodied i.e salary is given only for the period of embodiment.

The good news for the TA aspirants is that since there is a major shortage of officers, most of the officers, who volunteer to continue serving beyond their embodiment period every year, are retained. The promotion of the officers is based on their record of service and the length of active service they put in.

Therefore, the TA officers in the present day context continue to serve and get promoted like other regular officers. The standard embodiment periods include the following:



  • One month basic training in the first year of commission.
  • Two months annual training camp every year including the first year.
  • Three months Post Commissioning training within the first two years at IMA Dehradun.
This is an excellent opportunity given by the Government of India to young men who are well settled in their professional life. They can now join Territorial Army as an officer and prove their dream of wearing army officer uniform. The best thing is, you can serve the nation in both ways- as a civilian and as a soldier. On top of this, you need to lose or primary professional, let it be an MNC job, govt job or your own business.

Who is eligible for Indian Territorial Army?

You must be well settled and employed in any of the profession mentioned above. Territorial Army is not for just passed out candidates or someone who has just 2-3 years of working experience. To make sure you clear the Territorial Army Exams, it is better you get well settled in your current profession first. 
Territorial Army Eligibility

Also, if you have missed out on regular entries due to the age factor, it doesn’t mean you are perfect for Territorial Army now, you need to fulfil all eligibility requirements first and being gainfully employed will help you to get shortlisted for the next round.
*(Note : Serving Employees of Police/Paramilitary Forces are not eligible.)*

Terms and Conditions of Territorial Army

  1. Like regular entries, TA grants you a commissioned rank of Lieutenant.
  2. Pay and Allowances and privileges will be same as regular Army Officers when embodied for training and military service.
  3. Promotions up to Lt Col by time scale subject to fulfilling laid down criteria. Promotion to Colonel and Brigadier by selection.
  4. Officers commissioned in TA Infantry may be called out for military service for longer duration depending on the requirement.

Training Details of Territorial Army

  1. One month basic training in the first year of commission.
  2. Two months annual training camp every year including the first year.
  3. Three months Post Commissioning training within first two years at IMA Dehradun

Territorial Army: Awards and Recognitions

The officer and men of the Territorial Army have been decorated for their gallantry and distinguished services. So for they have earned 02 Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), 15 VSM, 05 Vir Chakra, 13 Sena Medal, 25 Mentioned-in-Despatches and 43 COAS commendation card.

Historical Background Of Territorial Army

The Indian Defence Force Act was promulgated in 1917 and it made conscription (compulsory military service) mandatory for all Europeans permanently residing in British India between the ages of 16 and 50.
The Indian Defence Force incorporated the Europeans and Indians in separate sections, i.e. the British and the Indian sections. While Indians joined the force as volunteers, the Europeans were conscripted. The major reason to establish this force was to release regular troops from garrison duties during the First World War.
Later in the year 1920, the Territorial Army was raised by the Britishers. It had two wings, 'The Auxiliary Force' for Europeans & Anglo-Indians and ‘The Indian Territorial Force’ for Indian Volunteers.
Territorial Army Act was passed in 1948 and TA was raised after it was formally inaugurated by the first Indian Governor General Shri C Rajagopalachari on 09 Oct 1949, which is celebrated every year as the Prime Minister's TA Day Parade.
The Territorial Army initially had various types of units such as armoured regiments, infantry battalions, air defence, medical regiments, engineer field park companies, signal regiments, Electronic and Mechanical Engineers (EME) workshops, coast batteries, Army Service Corps GT Coy, ASC Compo Pl, and AMC field ambulances.
By 1972 these units were either disbanded or converted into Regular Army units with the exception of infantry battalions.

Selection Procedure of Territorial Army

Candidates whose application forms are found correct are called for screening (Written Exam and Interview) by a Preliminary Interview Board (PIB) by the respective TA Group Headquarters.

Successful candidates further undergo evaluation at a Service Selection Board (SSB), which is exactly similar to SSB for any other entry. The selection at the SSB is followed by a Medical Board for final selection.

Syllabus for Exam, No of Questions & Marks


What Is Indian Territorial Army Syllabus



Time: Maximum time for each paper is 02 hrs and will be conducted in two sessions from 10:00 hrs to 12:00 hrs and 14:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs.

Type of Exam: Objective (OMR Answer Sheet will be used).

Qualifying Marks: The candidates will have to score a minimum of 40% marks in each paper separately and have an overall average of 50% to qualify.


Penalty for Wrong Answers: There will be a penalty imposed for wrong answers marked by a candidate as under:-


  1. There will be four possible answers to every question. For each question for which a wrong answer has been given by the candidate, half of the mark assigned to that question will be deducted as a penalty.
  2. If a candidate gives more than one answer, it will be treated as a wrong answer even if one of the given answers happens to be correct. The penalty will be imposed as above.
  3. There will be no penalty for questions not attempted.
For Ex-Service Officers Only
  • Ex-Service Officers of three services as a candidate should send their application along with enclosures as mentioned in the application form to Addl Directorate General TA, Integrated HQ of MoD (Army), ‘L’ Block, New Delhi-01.
  • The candidates are screened by an Army HQ Selection Board (ASB) held at Addl Dte Gen TA Army HQ, ‘L’ Block, New Delhi which is followed by a Medical Board for successful candidates.

Pay and Allowances

Pay and Allowances and privileges will be the same as for Regular Army Officers when embodied for training and military service. Promotions up to Lt Col by time scale subject to fulfilling laid down criteria. Promotion to Colonel and Brigadier by selection.

Territorial Army Incentives and Service Benefits

  • Promotion to higher as per authorization.
  • Free rations, CSD facilities and medical facilities to self and dependants when embodied for training, military service or when posted on permanent staff.
  • Facilities of leave, leave encashment, accommodation and leave travel concessions when embodied for training, military service or on Permanent Staff.
  • Entitlement to all medals and awards as applicable to the Regular Army.
  • Rank Pay as applicable to Regular Army.
  • DA as applicable during service embodiment.
  • Special increments on completion of 3 to 5 Annual Training Camps.
  • Entitlement to pension for officers with 20 years and JCOs and Other Ranks with 15 years aggregate embodied service (actual physical service).
  • Facilities of Army Welfare Housing Organisation after 10 years of embodied/physical service.
  • Terminal gratuity at the time of discharge/retirement (other than civil Govt employees).
  • Ex-servicemen status and free medical facilities to pensioners.

Certain State Govts and Departments give the following incentives to TA personnel:-

  • Cash award varying from Rs 2500/- to 5000/- by State Govts on the award of TA Decoration/TA Medal.
  • Multi allowance and lump sum Daily allowance by departments like ONGC and IOC.

Territorial Army Service Embodiment

All personnel of infantry and Departmental TA will be called out for service embodiment by the Central Government or the authority empowered by it to do so, on the eve of national Emergency or for Internal Security duties and training exercises. Failure to report for service on such occasions is punishable under the Territorial Army Act 1948.

Territorial Army personnel are entitled to the following benefits from the Defence Estimates during embodiment for training and service embodiment:

  • A goods train manned by TA personnel during 1971 war operating in Eastern Sector.
  • Pay and allowances and Service Benefits – When embodied as applicable to Regular Army.
  • Camp allowance of Rs 10/- per day when attending camps or courses of instruction (For Officers).
  • Increment On completion of 365 days of physical service.
  • Bounty Rs 450/- to Officers Rs 300/- for JCOs and Rs 175/- to Other Ranks of infantry units, on completion of minimum 80% of annual training camp every year.
  • TA Group Insurance benefits to personnel of non-departmental TA units.
  • Terminal gratuity: After completing 5 years of physical service or 10 years of total service to personnel other than civil Govt. employees.
  • Pension: On Completion of 20 years physical service to officers and 15 years to JCOs/OR other than civil Govt. employees.
  • Family/disability Pension is also admissible as applicable to Regular Army.
  • Leave as admissible to Regular Army personnel during an embodiment of service and appointment on permanent instructional staff.
  • Accumulation and encashment of leave accrued during the above period, as per terms and conditions laid down from time to time.
  • Ex-servicemen status to pensioners and disability pension holders and Gallantry award winners.
  • Free Medical treatment to self and dependants in respect of all pension holders.
  • Outfit allowance: @Rs 6000/- at the time of commissioning and after every 7 years of physical service or 10 years of commissioned service to officers, Rs 3200/- to Honorary Commissioned officers and Rs 500/- to JCOs.
  • Medals and Awards as applicable to Regular Army. In addition, TA officers are entitled to TA Decoration on completion of 20 years and JCOs and OR to TA medal on completion of 12 years meritorious service.
Source: Quora