To check the growing trend of fratricides and prepare soldiers for asymmetric warfare, the Indian Army is all set to introduce Group Personality Tests for jawans from July 2008.
The new system will try to ensure that the recruits are having attributes which will enable them to undergo the stresses and strains of an Army life, particularly face the problems in new situations in which they have to function.
"The Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) develops a whole system of selection process for the armed forces which is updated with changing requirements," said Dr. W Selvamurthy, DRDO's Chief Controller (Life Sciences and HR).
Speaking exclusively to Asian News International (ANI), Dr. Selvamurthy said the module of the new tests for soldiers has been given to the military and will be implemented from July 2008.
He said that the test for soldiers has been prepared keeping in mind all possible steps to reduce stress levels among jawans, and emphasised the urgent need for a more humane man management approach.
"The new test will focus on intelligence, personality and aptitude of jawans in order to prepare them for modern warfare which is going to be highly intensive," Dr. Selvamurthy said.
Emphasising the need for training recruiters, he said the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) runs 20 courses every year.
Dr. Selvamurthy said there were different tests for officers in the army, which "focus on emotional stability, ego strength and military leadership required in low intensity conflict," and added that in the new tests 15 officer-like qualities are included.
"The DRDO has developed a two stage selection process to bring objectivity. In the first stage, people who don't have an aptitude for the military are eliminated so that in the second stage, recruiters could focus more on the left over interested candidates," he said,
Dr. Selvamurthy said that the selection of a candidate is based on the following qualities like organising ability; social adjustment, dynamic factor and social effectiveness.
Those already employed with the armed forces, would be exposed to psychological aspects of the test, he added.
Dr. Selvamurthy said that in order to combat stress, leadership training would be given to serving officers before they are posted to Jammu and Kashmir or to the frontline areas.
Stressing on the mandate of the DRDO, Dr. Selvamurthy said the work of the DRDO is to produce state of art weapons system and maintain troop and officer well being and operational efficiency.
"Life sciences mandate is part of the DRDO to keep the man behind the weapon fully fit so that he is able to fight in harshest conditions," he said.
The DRDO has developed protective equipment and oxygen system for paratroopers, anti-mine boots, anti-leucoderma ointment, ready to eat meals for soldiers fighting in high altitude, etc.
Dr. Selvamurthy said that nuclear, biological and chemical warfare protection systems (NBC) that can not only protect, but also detect and treat in the eventuality of such warfare have been developed by the DRDO.
He said that RS 700 crore worth NBC items has already been delivered and procurement of RS 2000 crore worth of procurement of NBC products indigenously has already been cleared by the military.
Dr. Selvamurthy informed that during the DEFEXPO-08, companies from UK and Israel approached the DRDO to partner for NBC technology.