The Defence Ministry on Tuesday said it had taken steps to ensure implementation of permanent commissioning of women officers in the armed forces, in line with the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in August 15 last year, Modi had announced that women officers recruited under the short service commission in the armed forces will have the option of taking up permanent commission, which he described as a “gift” to the “brave daughters”.
“The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure implementation of announcement made by the Prime Minister on August 15, 2018 regarding grant of permanent commission to women officers in the armed forces,” the ministry said in a statement.
In so far as the Indian Air Force (IAF) is concerned, “all branches, including that of fighter pilots, are now open for women officers”, the statement added.
“In Indian Navy all non-sea going branches/cadre/specialisation have been opened for induction of women officers through short service commission. 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 male officers,” it said.
The proposal for induction of “three new training ships” for the Navy is under way, the ministry also said in the statement. “This will provide the requisite infrastructure for training of both men and women officers. Indian Navy will start inducting women in all branches, once the training ships are in place.”
Women officers will be granted permanent commission in the Indian Navy in “all the 10 branches” where women are inducted for short service commission, the statement said.
“So, besides the existing two streams of Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps, now permanent commission will be granted in Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps and Intelligence also to women officers.
“SSC women officers will give their option for permanent commission before completion of four years of Commissioned Service, and they will exercise option for grant of permanent commission and their choice of specialisation,” it added.
SSC women officers will be considered for grant of permanent commission “based on suitability, merit etc and will be employed in various staff appointment”, the statement said.
The PM, in his speech on the occasion of Independence Day, had said, “I want to give good news to our brave daughters. Women officers who have been appointed through the SSC in the armed forces will get permanent commission through a transparent process. It is a gift for them.”
Under SSC, officers are allowed tenures ranging from five to 14 years of services. Permanent commission allows them to serve till the age of retirement.