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What is Cantonment Board?


Recently, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has proposed to excise civil areas in 58 cantonments, with plans to merge them with State municipalities.


GS II: Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Cantonment Board
  2. Composition
  3. Classification

Cantonment Board:

  • It is an organization responsible for administering and managing civilian populations living in cantonment areas.
  • Operates under the provisions of the Cantonment Act of 2006 and is under the jurisdiction of the Union Defence Ministry.
  • The board consists of elected representatives, ex-officio members, and nominated members as per the Cantonments Act, 2006.


  • Eight elected members
  • Three nominated military members
  • Three ex-officio members (station commander, garrison engineer, senior executive medical officer)
  • One representative of the district magistrate
  • The station commander of the cantonment is the ex-officio president of the board.
  • An officer from the Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) or Defence Estates Organisation serves as the chief executive officer and member-secretary of the board.
  • The boards have a five-year term.


  • Category I: Population above 50,000
  • Category II: Population between 10,000 and 50,000
  • Category III: Population between 2,500 and 10,000
  • Category IV: Population below 2,500
  • India has a total of 66 cantonment boards.
  • Cantonment differs from a military station, as the former includes both military and civilian populations, whereas the latter is exclusively for military personnel and is established under executive orders.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023