Armed forces to grant permanent commission for women officers: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his addresses to the nation on occasion of 72nd Independence Day from Red Fort announced that permanent commission will be granted to serving women officers of armed forces. Henceforth, women officers who have been selected through Short Service Commission (SSC) in defence forces will now have option to take up permanent commission (PC).
Women are inducted in armed forces only as officers and not in subordinate ranks and currently, there are 1,561 women officers in Indian Army, 1,594 in Indian Air Force (IAF) and 644 in Indian Navy. Unlike male officers who join under SSC scheme and can opt for PC at end of ten years, women SSC officers do not have the same option.
The announcement comes after Government had told Supreme Court (in May 2018) that it was considering granting PC to SSC women Army officers. Granting PC to women officers will change their career paths, besides provide full-length career opportunity for women aspirants in the future. PC to women officers will also give them same option as male officers and they can theoretically achieve higher ranks like Colonels, Brigadiers, Major Generals and Lieutenant Generals in Indian Army.
Note: Granting PC to women officers will not change the status quo in their induction combat arms braches of Indian Army like Infantry, Armoured Corps, Mechanised Infantry, Army Aviation Corps and Artillery b as women are so far not inducted in direct combat roles. Most of senior operational commanders in Army are from these combat arms braches, so women officers are less likely to get higher seniority posts.
Unlike Indian Army, IAF and Indian Navy have opened up select combat roles for women. IAF has allowed entry of women as officers in both flying and ground duties. In IAF, women SSC officers are now commissioned even as fighter pilots, as helicopter and transport pilots. They are also commissioned by IAF in legal, education and intelligence branches. In Navy, women officers are inducted through SSC in Logistics, Law, Air Traffic Control (ATC), Observers, Pilots (Maritime Reconnaissance Stream), Naval Armament Inspectorate Cadre (NAIC), Naval Architecture and Education Branch.
Category: Defence Current Affairs