Editorial: Welcome, women

Fulfilling a longtime dream, the Ministry of Defence has issued an order for grant  of Permanent Commission to women officers in the Army. This was after a landmark  judgement by the Supreme Court in February, directing that all serving women  officers recruited under the Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme will have to be
considered for Permanent Commission.

According to Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand, the government order paved the way  for empowering of women officers to shoulder larger roles in the Army. “The order  specifies grant of permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) women  officers in all 10 streams of the Indian Army.”

Anand said the 10 streams where permanent commission of women officers are being  made available include army air defence, signals, engineers, army aviation,  electronics and mechanical engineers, army service corps and intelligence corps

Currently, the Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches — judge advocate general (JAG) and education “Their selection board will be  scheduled as soon as all affected SSC women officers exercise their option and  complete requisite documentation,” the official said.

Under SSC, women officers are initially taken for a period of five years, which is  extendable up to 14 years. Permanent commissioning will allow them to serve till  the age of retirement

The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services and they can serve up to a maximum of 14 years  Last year, the Defence Ministry had taken an in-principle decision to allow  permanent commissioning of women in streams like signals, engineering, army  aviation, army air defence and electronics and mechanical.

It was decided that the SSC women officers will be considered for grant of  permanent commission based on the availability of vacancies and subject to  willingness, suitability, performance, medical fitness and competitive merit of  the aspirants The three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in  select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics and  engineering.

The women officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking  permanent commission in all streams except the flying branch. The Navy has allowed  permanent commission of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval  designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal. Women are no way to
inferior to men and this decision has proved this once again.


NT Bureau