Exclusive: Indian Army considering reducing strength of its 40,000 sahayaks by 25 per cent

The Indian Army is considering replacing 10,000 sahayak jawans with civilians. The soldiers would then be posted at units across India.

The Indian Army, after consultations with the Defence Ministry, is considering cutting down the numbers of its sahayaks or 'buddies' by 25 percent.

This would translate to around 10,000 jawans as there are currently about 40,000 sahayaks in the Indian Army.

The move would come in the wake of the controversy over the tasks Indian Army sahayaks perform for officers and junior commissioned officers.

Under the army's 'buddy's system, sahayak jawans are attached to officers and junior commissioned officers. A sahayak's tasks include working with the officer or JCO for army-related duties.

According to top army sources, the 10,000 sahayak jawans will be replaced by civilians. The civilian substitutes will be employed for officers in static formations such as the Army Headquarters or units in the Delhi area and not operational locations like battalions, brigades and division and corps headquarters.

Once their civilian replacements are in the place, the 10,000 sahayak jawans will be moved to army formations across the country.

This is perhaps the first step in the dismantling of the army's sahayak or 'buddy' system. The Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force do not have such a system in place.

The age-old system recently came into the spotlight after a few jawans posted grievance-filled videos on social media. The videos criticised the buddy system, with the soldiers alleging that they were often made to perform menial tasks for the officers whom they were assigned to

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