Updated: November 20, 2020 7:18:33 am
OUT OF the 615 women officers considered for permanent commission in the Army, 422 have been found fit, according to results of a special selection board released by the Army on Thursday.
The Army had constituted Number 5 Selection Board, whose proceedings were held from September 14 to 25, to screen short service commissioned women officers for permanent commission. This was done following an order of the Supreme Court in February, which directed the Army to induct all eligible women short service commissioned officers in permanent commission.
The five-member board included a woman Brigadier from the Army Medical Corps.
According to the results of the selection board, 57 women officers who were found fit for permanent commission have opted not to take it. Sixty-eight women officers who have not been granted permanent commission will now be released from service with pension.
A total of 106 officers who have not been recommended for permanent commission will be allowed to serve till 20 years of service to earn a pension and then released from service.
A total of 42 officers have had their candidature postponed because they are in a temporary low medical category and have been given time. The result of six officers has been withheld due to non-receipt of requisite medical documents while the result of 40 officers has been withheld on administrative grounds.
There are also a number of women officers who have not been granted permanent commission and will be released from service in the near future after completing the terms of their engagement under short service commission.
The women officers who have been selected for permanent commission belong to branches such as Engineers, Signals, Intelligence Corps, Army Air Defence, Army Aviation Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, Army Service Corps and Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering. There are approximately 1,653 women officers serving in the Army currently out of a total of nearly 43,000 officers.
With permanent commission being granted to women officers in these branches, they would now be eligible for promotion to higher ranks. However, there is still ambiguity on whether they will be offered commands of units and regiments as many who are senior in age and service have not been able to do essential courses as they were not open to them as short service commissioned officers.
Induction of women officers started in the Army in 1992 in select non-combat branches. In 2008, the then government extended permanent commission to women officers in the Judge Advocate General’s Branch and Army Education Corps.
In 2010, the Delhi High Court awarded permanent commission to women officers in all branches in which they were serving at the time. The government appealed against this verdict in the Supreme Court, which finally upheld the High Court order in February this year.
The present government extended permanent commission to women officers in March 2019 but this offer was not implemented retrospectively.
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