'Suicide risk test developed to identify vulnerable troopers'
New Delhi: A DRDO lab has developed a suicide risk assessment test which will help in identifying security personnel "at risk" so that preventive measures can be taken in advance, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Wednesday.
In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Antony also said the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) has undertaken a project on 'Study of Factors Causing Distress among Young Officers of Indian Army'.
"The project is likely to be completed by October 2013," he said.
On steps taken to tackle incidents of suicides and fragging, Antony said, "DIPR has already developed 'Suicide Risk Assessment Test' and handed it over to Army on December 6. The test will help in identification of personnel 'at-risk' so that preventive measures can be taken in advance."
DIPR has also planned to carry out a 'Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program: Resilience Building' to generate awareness towards well-being among troops, he said.
The program will develop training modules on 'Resilience Building' and will devise ways to develop model Army units. "The program is likely to be completed by 2017," the Defence Minister said.
The study on factors causing distress in young officers will also include the level of stress prevailing among young officers.
While suggesting remedial measures to manage stress among young officers, the project will study the casual factors causing distress among them and thus depleting the resources to cope with it.
Replying to a similar question in Rajya Sabha in August, Antony had said that a total of 1,018 Army personnel have committed suicide so far since 2003, with the maximum number of such incidents taking place in 2006.
"Of the total 1,018 cases of army men committing suicide, the maximum 129 such incidents took place in 2006," the Defence Minister had informed the House.
This year till July, 62 cases of suicides were reported in the Army, while last year it was 102, Antony had said.
In reply to a separate question on molestation of women by Army in Assam, Antony said that five such incidents were reported in last five years.
"All cases relating to incident of molestation, rape of women against army personnel are investigated in detail at respective formation/unit level and any army personnel, if found guilty, is punished in accordance with the provisions of Army Act/Rules etc," he said.
"The first incident was reported in Tejpur in 2008, followed by two incidents at Sibsagar and Dibrugarh in 2009. In 2011 and 2012, one incident each were reported from Kokrajhar and Sibsagar," the Defence Minister said.