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India: Conditions of Service
Country Study > Chapter 10 > National Security > Organization and Equipment of the Armed Forces > Conditions of Service


Pay and allowances for armed forces personnel compare favorably with civilian employment. Monthly salaries vary according to the service, although personnel usually earn similar pay for equivalent duties. Additionally, there is an extensive and complex system of special allowances that depend on conditions and kind of service. Free food for personnel in both field and garrison areas was extended after 1983 to all personnel up to the rank of colonel. All personnel are entitled to annual leaves of varying lengths, and, other than for a few exceptions, the services bear transportation costs for personnel and their families. Commissioned officers and other designated ranks contribute to the Armed Forces Provident Fund, a form of life insurance.

Personnel retiring after twenty years of service as an officer or fifteen years of enlisted service receive pensions based on the rank held at retirement. Retirees without the minimum service requirement receive special one-time bonuses. Additional remuneration accrues to those disabled in the line of service or -- in the event of the death of active-duty personnel -- to their surviving dependents.

The Soldiers', Sailors', and Airmen's Board, chaired by the minister of defence, is one of the most important organizations dealing with the welfare of active-duty personnel and their dependents. The board works closely with the Directorate of Resettlement in the Ministry of Defence to assist former service personnel and their dependents to find employment on their return to civilian life. The directorate also operates cooperative industrial and agricultural estates and training programs to prepare former service personnel for employment in new fields. Both central and state-level governments reserve a percentage of vacancies in the public sector for former military personnel.

Last Updated: September 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for India was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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