Permanent commissioning of women in armed forces: PM

Official sources said government is likely to come out with a comprehensive policy in the next couple of months on permanent commissioning of women in the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force. PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that women officers recruited under the short service commission in the armed forces will have the option of taking up a permanent commission, which he described as a "gift" to the "brave daughters".

Modi made the policy announcement while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 72nd Independence Day.

He, however, did not give any indication whether permanent commissioning of women will pave the way for their entry into the combat positions in the Army and the Navy. The Indian Air Force has already started induction of women as fighter pilots.

"I want to give a good news to our brave daughters. Women officers who have been appointed through the short service commission in the armed forces will get a permanent commission through a transparent process. It is a gift for them," Modi said.

Official sources said the government is likely to come out with a comprehensive policy in the next couple of months on permanent commissioning of women in the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force.

In a tweet, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman thanked Modi for making the announcement on permanent commission (PC) of women officers in the three services.

The three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics, engineering and several other streams.

The women officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking permanent commission in all streams except the flying branch.

Navy has allowed permanent commission of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.

The Army offers permanent commission to women officers in two branches — judge advocate general (JAG) and education.

Both the Navy and the IAF recruit women pilots under SSC.

The Army recruits women officers under SSC for streams like air defence, engineering, signals and services.

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.

A case relating to permanent commissioning of women in the Army is pending in the Supreme Court. The government had approached the top court after the Delhi High Court in 2010 ordered it to give women Army officers on short service commission a permanent commission.

In April, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it was considering granting permanent commission to short service commission women Army officers.

A group of women Army officers recruited under SSC scheme had approached courts seeking PC status. 

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