From North, Punjab sends most jawans to Army

NEW DELHI:The drive to join the armed forces — the Army, Indian Air Force and the Navy — continues to grow in North India.

From North, Punjab sends most jawans to Army

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 24

The drive to join the armed forces — the Army, Indian Air Force and the Navy — continues to grow in North India. Punjab leads among northern states as far as non-officer strength within the Army is concerned, while Haryana sends maximum airmen to the IAF and sailors to the Navy.

The data shared by the Ministry of Defence in the Lok Sabha last week, detailing state-wise representation of troops in the armed forces from across the country, suggests north-western states — Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi along with UTs of Chandigarh and J&K — have 21.88% share among troops and junior commissioned officers (JCOs) in the Army. JCOs are promoted from among the troops.

The Army has 11.54 lakh troops and JCOs, of whom 2.52 lakh belong to north-western states. Punjab alone sends 89,893 troops and JCOs — 7.78% of the total strength.

The Army does not maintain domicile records of its existing 43,000-odd officers. The IAF and Navy have the record, which has been disclosed in the Lok Sabha.

Data of the 2011 Census suggests the collective population of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, J&K and Chandigarh constitutes just 7.47% of the country’s population.

Yet, as many as 20,483 (15.85%) of the 1.29 lakh IAF airmen belong to the north-western states. Haryana leads the pack with 13,524 men i.e. 10.46% of the country’s total.

In case of the Navy, the north-western states have a share of 19.36% among sailors. As many as 11,258 sailors out of 50,140 in the Navy are from these states. Haryana leads yet again with 6,114 sailors i.e. 10.51% of the total strength.

Overall, the three forces have 13,41,944 jawans, JCOs, airmen and sailors. The north-western states contribute 2,84,440 (21.19%) of these. Uttar Pradesh, which has 16.50% of the country’s population, has the largest chunk in all three services — 1,74,309 in the Army, 32,817 in the IAF and 11,256 in the Navy.

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