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Army is looking at inducting women recruits also in branches other than Military Police

Only Corps of Military Police has so far started recruiting women in ranks others than officers. Army is now examining roles for women across branches depending on the feasibility.

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New Delhi: The Army started a study earlier this month to assess the feasibility of inducting women in ranks other than officers, and the possible branches these recruits can be inducted into.

The Corps of Military Police (CMP) is the only arm in which the Army has started inducting women recruits in ranks other than officers. The training of 100 selected women for this purpose began in Bengaluru in March.

As far as women officers are concerned, they serve in several non-combat and combat-support arms such as Ordnance, Education, EME (Electronics and Mechanical Engineers), Signals, Engineers. They have not been inducted in direct combat roles such as Infantry, Armoured, Artillery and Mechanised Infantry. 

Study started after SC verdict

The study comes three months after the Supreme Court told the government to grant permanent commission to all women officers, who opt for it, and also stated that they will be eligible for command appointments.

According to Army sources, since women officers will now be eligible for command appointments, the Army is examining roles for women across branches depending on the feasibility.

The sources said views have been sought from all commands on the possible branches where women can be inducted in ranks other than officers.

A senior Army officer told ThePrint the commands and the heads of arms will identify roles, which are currently carried out by male soldiers but can be feasible for women too, as well as the number of such soldiers each arm would require to perform the duties concerned. 


Also read: SSC women Army officers don’t want ‘freebies’, say fight is for parity not pension


Reaction to Army study

Talking about the move, another senior Army officer said each soldier has dual roles and is required to carry it out with the same degree of professionalism.

“The tradesmen of an Infantry battalion are also trained soldiers and are used as fighting porters. So, a tradesman in an Infantry battalion may not be a female soldier,” the officer said.

“A similar tradesman in a non-combat arm or service may well be a female soldier and the secondary task may be well within her limitations,” the officer added. 

“The entire study would involve a complex study to determine each appointment.”

The officer, however, said with the induction of women officers for permanent commission as well as for command appointments, there is also a need to introduce them in the rank and file.

“This will enhance the feeling of inclusiveness as well as open more vistas for them.”

‘Steps to being inclusive’

A senior woman Army officer, who refused to be identified, told ThePrint the study is a welcome move, and would enhance comfort and camaraderie between women Army officers and those recruited in other ranks.

“Most of them would surely do a good job as an educated staff. As a component in the Army, they should be gainfully utilised,” she said.

Senior defence officers said the armed forces are opening up doors for opportunities to women more than ever before. “Permanent commissions, women in the ranks of CMP in the Army, fighter pilots in the Air Force, fixed wing pilots in the Navy are small steps to being inclusive,” a senior defence official said.

“Women in the ranks is something that is bound to happen sometime. There is no prescribed right time for it other than being open-minded. It’s a mindset that needs to be overcome rather than administrative, social and physiological hurdles, which are also there,” the official said.

The official added most of the developed services took this step at varying times of societal changes and it’s not that they are devoid of problems even now. 

“It’s just that they have learnt to handle the issues as we will too,” the official said. 

Giving the example of the Navy, which currently doesn’t recruit women sailors, the official said women in ranks can be accommodated in messes as stewards and cooks for instance, though each service has its own methodology of personnel employed for these jobs. 

“They can be employed for clerical tasks, financial accounting, store-keepers, medical assistants other than nursing officers, aviation maintenance, etc. Anyway, these are only indicative and a thorough study of service conditions suitable for their entry will be undertaken before any decision will be taken,” the official said. 

“In times to come, it is hoped that all gender-based restrictions will disappear for recruitment in any arm or service.”

Permanent commission of women officers

The Army has already begun the process of granting permanent commission to women Army officers after the Supreme Court verdict in February. The court had granted three months’ time to implement its order.

Army sources told ThePrint the Army has already sent out letters to women officers, asking them if they would want to opt for permanent commission.

“However, a fresh GSL (Government Sanction Letter) to this effect is awaiting the nod from the defence ministry. It is expected very soon. After that, boards (for promotion) would be held for women officers opting for permanent commission,” a source said.

Nearly 600 women Army officers would be assessed by the board, the source added.

Army Chief General M.M. Naravane had earlier said the Army has prepared a roadmap for granting permanent commission to women officers, and the first step would be to send out letters to women officers currently on Short Service Commission (SSC), asking whether they want to opt for permanent commission.


Also read: Women in combat roles: India can romanticise it but here’s why we are not ready yet


 

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21 COMMENTS

  1. My Drem Indian army
    Me desh ke jaan Delhi shakta Hu or jaan Le bhi shakta hu or mene army ki 3 rally me paticipit par exam Tredmen me exam fail ho rahu please help me

  2. It’s is very difficult to command male soldiers of infantry, artillery by women officers
    Because most of them belonging to primitive regions of various parts of India . And mostly these societies are male dominating , and they don’t want and will not be listening to women officers.
    Apart from this most of men join the infantry and artillery because they are free of women

  3. You should be very careful about publishing such opinion pieces. It has been shamelessly lifted from Maj Gen Mrinal Suman’s analytical write-ups on the subject in his blogs and elsewhere. The least this correspondent could have done was to graciously acknowledge the distinguished General’s original contributions.

  4. यह एक सकारात्मक विकास है । उन अधकारियों के लिए धन्यवाद, जिन्होंने इस बदलाव के लिए सही किया।

  5. Women are not lacking anywhere…. It’s just the way of looking towards the problem. Women can always find the way for any problem as the mens can do. A great decision by our Army to have women’s to serve our Nation…..Thanks to those Officers who has thought for this change…🙏🙏

    • सिस्टम के बाहर से सब कुछ हरा-हरा दिखता है। एक बार इन हो जाओ, फिर पता चलेगा कि फौज में लड़की का क्या हाल होता है। कम करके नहीं आंक रहे हैं लड़कियों को, चेता रहे हैं कि और भी फील्ड है सेफली देश की सेवा करने के लिए। पर, सैनिक के तौर पर लाइफ हार्ड है और संवेदनहीन भी।

  6. What is not said is the mindset of women… They won’t do hard physical works, hide behind famliy issues, cant be scolded by seniors as she ll raise rape against seniors.,want good facilities and comfort, frequent leaves and medical problms along with long leave for pregnancies.. …. But all said there are exemptions too were they genuinely works and sometimes are better than men.. But the mindset of women also needs to be changed slowly along with men.. Or else army ll fail to live upto discipline it maintained.

    • Yes to some extent mostly true. Yes the temparament is vastky dufferent.but there are many braehearts these days. So selection shoukd be careful. Thanks

  7. In the wake of Chinese dirty games in border with its world’s largest ground force and trying to browbeat India with monstrous tactics in an undemarcated border over 3500 kms we should stop debating on gender terms about women’s combat predilections, capability and potential and should rather go by willingness and fitness. Afterall many sportswomen are far stronger than umpteen no. of sportsmen. We should not get overpowered by wasteful emotions. Bharat is protected by Bharatmata. Let us pull away chauvinistic or paternalistic or feudalistic mentality and push for military reforms and degendering the Forces. Given the strength of Chinese with its strong Communist dictatorship it is as difficult as WW III to push aside – if not far aside – the Chinese. Let us ferociously gear up and prove her mettle on Chinese onslaught.

  8. Thought is democratic. Before women inducted in army ranks ,army act need to be amended. senior to be made responsible for any sexual advances .2ndly officers should be brought out from the king attitude .The officer should be made responsible for any disability and casuality in his /her unit and subunits .

  9. Sure no problem. Countries like the US and UK are already integrating them into combat arms. Studies have shown even if only few women can do these jobs ,they still can do it on par with men. At the end of the day , you salute the rank and not the person. An experienced JCO has to always salute a new Lieutenant no matter what.

    • In airforce , Navy and other supporting roles yes women are good at their work but Emin direct combat which involves infantry and artillary even UK and US has now stopped sending women in direct battlefields , in a report of US in battlefield 145 women died not in a fight but due to mine blasts and a large number of them died because of injuries that too without even a fight , they were more vulnerable and physical limitations doesn’t allow their survival in battlefields after this report US stopped the sending of women soldiers instead used them as patrolling army just like as in our country there is women military police

  10. Sure no problem. Countries like the US and UK are already integrating them into combat arms. Studies have shown even if only few women can do these jobs ,they still can do it on par with men. At the end of the day , you salute the rank and not the person. An experienced JCO has to always salute a new Lieutenant no matter what. The Navy should start integrating them in ships.

    • In other branches without a doubt women are good but in combat like artillary , infantry where direct physical fight is included there even America and UK has stopped sending the female troops on fight they are used for patrolling only just like we have women military police in our country and when situation gets tensed female soldiers are evacuated and men soldiers fight with the enemies because the results including women soldier in infantry were very poor they were more prone to injuries and were more vulnerable 145 of them died because of injuries and mines blast ( these women were not even included in direct fight) after that even US and UK government stopped sending them in ditei battles , yes women can do good and are doing good in air force and navy there they should flourish but still artillary and infantry is too physically demanding for women and tests in US also proved that

  11. Women are not lacking anywhere…. It’s just the way of looking towards the problem. Women can always find the way for any problem as the mens can do. A great decision by our Army to have women’s to serve our Nation…..Thanks to those Officers who has thought for this change…🙏🙏

  12. About the time, this is a positive development.
    Greater diversity of both sex is needed in every aspects of Indian society to strengthen the sense of equality and root out the gender biasness.

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