Women Officers for the first time join Helicopter Stream of Indian Navy

Published: September 21, 2020

For the first time in the history of Indian Defence System two women officers were selected to join as Observers in the Helicopter Stream of Indian Navy. They will be the first women combatants operating warships.

Highlights

The two women officers joining the Helicopter team are Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh and Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi. They were recently awarded “Wings” on graduating as “Observers” at INS Garuda, Kochi. The women officers were a part of 17 officers in the Indian Navy who received similar training.

These women officers will now serve on-board maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Navy.

Women in Indian Military

The role of Indian Women in the Indian Army began in 1888 with the launch of Indian Military Nursing Service. This force fought the World War I and II. Around 350 Indian nurses died in the war or were taken as prisoners.

India women were inducted as Short Service Commission Officers only in 1992. This is the first time women were allowed to serve outside medical stream. Initially they were allowed to serve for five years. However, in 2006 this was extended to 14 years.

Today Indian Air Force allows women in combat roles in all of its wings. However, the Indian Army allows only in support roles and special forces allow women only in trainer role.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court had upheld the right of women to serve in Short Service Commission. Also, the apex court upheld the Delhi High Court Order of 2010 to grant permission to women officers at par with their male counter parts.

Combat roles

There are more than 3,500 women serving the military. However, they were restricted from front-line combat roles till 2015. In 2015, women were inducted into Indian Air Force. However, tanks, warships and combat positions are still no-go zones for women.

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