Suicides, untoward incidents and fratricides have led to the loss of more army personnel than in enemy actions, according to a study by the United Service Institution of India, a think tank.
The study report noted that stress levels among Indian Army personnel had increased in the last two decades because of operational and non-operational stressors. The researchers noted that prolonged exposure of the personnel to counter- insurgency and counter-terrorism operations was one of the contributory factors for increased stress levels.
The report also pointed out that that the various stress management measures implemented by the Defence Ministry and the Army in the last 15 years have not helped in achieving the desired results.
Stressful service could lead to increased incidents of indiscipline, unsatisfactory training and low morale that could adversely affect the combat preparedness and operational performance.
The study mentioned that inadequacies in leadership quality, overburdened commitments, frequent dislocations, inadequate resources, lack of transparency in postings and promotions, non-grant of leave and insufficient accommodation led to the stress in Army officials.
Amongst the Junior Commissioned Officers and other ranks, the study said that delay in giving leave, denial of leave, domestic issues, excessive engagements, humiliation by seniors, unreasonable restrictions on the use of mobiles, lack of dignity, lack of recreational facilities and conflict with seniors and subordinates led to stress.
As per the United Service Institution of India report, Indian Forces lose about a 100 personnel every year because of suicides. This means that one soldier dies every third day.