In a significant announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that women would now be eligible for permanent commission in the armed forces.
This has been one of the biggest demands of women in armed forces who until now were given a short service commission in Army, Navy and Air Force.
As per the short service commission, one can serve as a commissioned officer for 10/14 years. At the end of three years, one has three options: opt for permanent commission, opt out, or opt for 4 year extension. With Modi’s announcement, women would now be eligible for a term more than 14 years in the armed forces.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the Army was finalising a plan to grant permanent commission (PC) to women in an array of areas by creating a special cadre for their induction. Reports said that the permanent commission to women is being considered for a number of segments including cyber and IT, corps of military police and various posts in service selection board.
At present, the Army offers a permanent commission to women in the Army Education Corps (AEC) and the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Department. Majority of women recruits in the Army are short-service commission (SSC) officers and they have a maximum tenure of 14 years.
In April, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was considering granting permanent commission to short service commission women army officers. A group of women army officers recruited under SSC scheme had approached courts seeking PC status.
In September 2017, the Army had announced that it was inducting women in the military police, seen as a major move towards inducting them for combat roles.
The Indian Army is yet to open doors for combat roles for women. Very few countries have allowed women in combat roles which include Germany, Australia, Canada, USA, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel.
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