Indian Army : Sahayak System – UPSC GS3

What is Sahayak System?
  • Sahayaks or buddy system is a system in which a soldier is attached to officers to help them carry out their responsibilities.
  • Sahayaks are attached to Officers and Junior Commissioned Officer.
  • The duties of Sahayaks include protecting the officers, maintaining their weapons and equipment among others.
  • The Sahayak System was evolved during the colonial rule.
  • The practice of Sahayak system is codified in the Indian Army.
  • An estimated 50,000 sahayaks serve in the Indian Army.
  • Indian Air Force and Indian Navy do not have sahayak system.
What is the issue?
  • Indian Army is considering doing away with the Sahayak System.
  • The Indian Army’s move comes in the wake of rising cases of jawans coming out openly against the Sahayak system.
  • Some jawans have accused of being treated as servants by their attached officers.
  • The critics point that Sahayak System is liable to be misused, and is demeaning to the soldier.
  • However, the army has said that Sahayaks would continue to be deployed in key bases and field areas as these areas will have defined military duties.
  • Instead of Sahayaks, employment of civilian staff at peace stations will help the Indian Army in economising on its manpower as well.

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