Speaking on the decision to include women in combat, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Saturday the jawans and sardar sahebaan are in rank and file and the Army needs women in these ranks as they often encounter women during operations. “We need women in rank and file where there are usually jawans and sardar sahebaan. We have to often face the common people during operations and that is when women come face to face with us,” he said. Rawat was speaking to reporters after attending the Passing Out Parade at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.
He further said women will be first inducted in the military police and then taken for the next step. “First, we will start with women as military police jawans. We will take next steps after success there,” Rawat said. Last week, Bipin Rawat had announced that women would soon be a part of the combat role in the Indian Army, currently the exclusive domain of men.
Rawat further said that the youth of Kashmir was being instigated by social media and the misinformation spread on it. “Youth in Kashmir is being instigated by a misinformation campaign on social media,” he said, adding, “If we have modern technology, it should be used the right way. This way, the people will also not be troubled and we will also be capable.”
Last week, the Army Chief had said he was ready to recruit women as jawans and the matter is being taken up with the government. “We have already started the process,” Gen Rawat told PTI in an exclusive interaction recently. He said women will have to show grit and strength in taking up challenges in combat role and shattering the glass ceiling.
Very few countries including Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel have allowed women in combat roles. Last year, in a major step forward, Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh became the first women fighter pilots to be formally commissioned by the Indian Air Force.