The Indian Army is not yet ready to have women in combat roles, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said Friday.
The Army chief said there are several other fields where the Army was thinking of inducting women. “We are not yet ready for that (women in combat roles) as facilities have to be created within… Women also need to be prepared for that kind of hardships,” he said.
“It is not easy. Let us not compare ourselves with Western nations, which are more open,” Gen Rawat told reporters on the sidelines of the Passing Out Parade of the 135th course at the National Defence Academy (NDA) here.
There were plans to have women as interpreters, the Army chief said.
“Yes, we may be more open in our big cities, but our Army personnel are not coming from big cities only. They are coming from rural areas too, where the intermingling, which is expected, is still not there,” he said.
“Women officers are being inducted into all the three services. But what we have to decide is whether some of them can be given permanent commission,” Gen Rawat said.
The Army has taken a call that there are some aspects and fields where “we need some kind of continuity and permanency,” he said.
“In a command-oriented army, male officers do not fit the bill everywhere. The Army needs language interpreters as military diplomacy is gaining ground. The basic requirement is understanding the language while talking to other nations, military to military. So we are looking for women as
interpreters,” he said.