As the Indian Army faces increasing threats from various border regions, the government said that it is working on various plans to improve the combat efficiency of the armed forces. Speaking about the plans, Defense Minister Arun Jaitley said that there are also specific proposals that will help improve the tooth-to-tail ratio of the Indian Army. In a written reply provided in the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said that a special committee of experts has been appointed to look into the emerging needs of the Indian armed forces. He said that the committee will focus on improving combat capability and re-balancing defense expenditure of the Indian Army. For the uninitiated, the tooth-to-tail ratio is the ratio of the number of army personnel engaged in combat (tooth) and the number of personnel engaged in supporting them (tail).
It may seem that having a higher tooth-to-tail ratio, i.e. having more troops in combat, would be beneficial, but this may not be true because such combat personnel will lack the support staff, which are also crucial. The approach should be to create a ratio that suits both the tooth and tail ends of the forces. Jaitley also responded to the size of the Indian armed forces by saying, “Force structure of the army depends on contemporary security environment and dynamic geo-political realities so as to ensure its relevance as a formidable force against our potential adversaries.”