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Defence ministry issues formal order granting permanent commission in Army to women officers | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has finally issued the formal order to grant permanent commission (PC) to women officers in eight more branches of the Army, in accordance with the Supreme Court directive in February, which will “empower them to shoulder larger roles” in the 13-lakh strong force.
The “government sanction letter” specifies that women short-service commission (SSC) officers will be granted PC – if found eligible by a selection board – in Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps. They are already eligible for PC in the Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC) branches.
“In anticipation, the Army HQ had already set in motion a series of preparatory actions for conduct of the PC selection board for eligible women officers. The board will be scheduled as soon as all eligible women SSC officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation,” said an Army officer on Thursday.
Women number just over 1,600 in the 43,000-strong officer cadre in the Army. The military brass for long opposed PC and command roles for women due to “operational, practical and cultural problems” but had to relent after the court directive to end gender bias in the force.
Women officers, unlike their male counterparts, were not mandated to undergo the “junior command course” and other “adjunct courses” as young captains or majors to be eligible for “command appointments” till now.
Women, of course, are not allowed to join main combat arms like infantry, mechanized infantry, artillery and armoured corps in the Army. They also cannot serve on board warships and submarines in the Navy. But the IAF, which already had women transport aircraft and helicopter pilots, has commissioned eight women as fighter pilots since 2016 to break yet another glass ceiling.

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