In an extremely welcome move, the women officers in the Indian Army will now receive permanent commission. As per a recent order by the Defence Ministry, the women officers will now be granted permanent commission, instead of the Short Service Commission that was earlier available to them.
According to the order, “Women officers will be granted Permanent Commission in the Indian Army in all the ten branches where women are inducted for Short Service Commission.”
The order further added, “In addition to education, Law and Naval Constructor branch/cadre, women SSC officers have been made eligible for grant of Permanent Commission in the Naval Armament branch, at par with the male officers.”
For those unaware, women were initially not inducted in the army, except for the medical services. It wasn’t until the early 90s, that women were allowed in the Indian Army under the Short Service Commission, in which women are allowed to serve under the Army for only 10 years, with an additional 4 years of service allotted only under special circumstances. As of now, women are currently inducted in the following branches of the Indian Army:
- Signals Corps.
- Engineering Corps.
- Army Aviation
- Army Air Defence
- Electronics and Mechanical Engineers
- Army Service Corps
- Army Ordnance Corps
- Military Intelligence etc.
In all regards, this is a historic move taken by the incumbent NDA government. This is a significant extension to the step by step reformation of the armed forces, as undertaken by previous Defence Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar. In 2016, Shri Parrikar, in consultation with the then chiefs of the respective armed forces had given his nod for the women officers to be inducted in combat operations on a graded level.
Following the induction of women as combat pilots for fighter jets, various avenues are being slowly but steadily opened for women aspirants. Be it induction of female jawans into the military police, or the current order for women officers to be granted permanent commission, the women are now being given what was long due. For this, the incumbent government should be applauded for their broad-minded approach, and the present Defence Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman deserves a salute for carrying forward the legacy of her predecessor, Shri Manohar Parrikar.