Asia

Army ready with roadmap to grant permanent commission to women, will seek responses from eligible officers

NEW DELHI: Swinging into action after the Supreme Court judgement on Monday, the Army has prepared a roadmap for granting permanent commission (PC) to women officers and will soon issue letters to those eligible to ask whether they want to opt for it.
Around 600 short-service commission (SSC) officers, who have completed 10 years of their 14-year tenure, out of the total 1,653 women officers in the Army stand to immediately benefit from the Supreme Courts directive to end the prevailing gender bias in the force. Incidentally, there are around 41,000 male officers in the 13-lakh strong Army.
“The Supreme Court decision is a welcome decision. It is a very enabling judgement because it gives us a sense of clarity and purpose on how to move forward to gainfully employ women officers for better efficiency of the organisation,” said Army chief General M M Naravane on Thursday.
The Army does not discriminate against soldiers based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender, he said, adding the force had begun inducting women officers as early as 1993 and was now also recruiting women as jawans in the Corps of Military Police.
“We have been champions of gender equality. I assure everybody that women officers will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the nation as well as progress in their careers,” said Gen Naravane.
But after largely restricting PC to women officers in the legal and education branches till now, it will be a major operational challenge for the Army to grant it across the board in other “combat support arms and services”, as reported by TOI earlier.
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