For the first time, women officers under the Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Indian army will now be eligible for Permanent Commission (PC). The decision was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of Independence Day at the Red Fort, New Delhi. This will benefit all the women officers in the Indian Navy, Air Force, and Army.
The move will change the career paths of more than 3,700 women officers in the three services, besides providing a full-length career opportunity for women aspirants in the future.
The number of women officers in the Indian army is 1,561, followed by 1,594 in the Indian Air Force, and 644 in the Indian Navy. Women are recruited only as officers and not as troops in any of the wings. The women officers are commissioned into Army Service Corps, Ordnance Education Corps, Judge Advocate General, Engineers, Signals, Intelligence, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering branches. The Indian Army doesn’t allow women in combat roles like infantry, armored, mechanised infantry, aviation and artillery, shares NDTV.
Only in certain streams like Judge Advocate General, Army Education Corps, and the Military Police, women officers are given permanent commission on par with the male officers.
"All three wings of the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence are actively considering the issue of parity between male and female officers in securing permanent commission in the armed forces," the Defence Ministry has said.
Back in 2010, the Delhi High court had ordered to give women officers the right to opt for the permanent commission in the Indian Army. After the order, the central government had appealed in the Supreme Court for extending the benefits of PC to SSC Indian Army officers.
In a conversation with the Hindustan Times about the amendment allowing the permanent commission to omen officers in the Indian Army, Captain Shalini Singh (retd) said,
The move will empower women in uniform and also change the perception of the force. When we are wearing the uniform, there is no difference between men and women. Women discharge their duties as male officers do. It’s an excellent move.