New Delhi: In a first, six women officers have been selected for the prestigious Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), the only competitive course within the Indian Army that paves the way for appointments to higher formations in the force.
Sources in the defence establishment said 15 women had appeared for the examination, out of which six were selected, including one who has made it to the course along with her husband.
The six women officers will enter the prestigious war college in Wellington, a move that has come after the grant of permanent commission to women officers by the Army last year. They will start their academic session from April next year.
Permanent commission to women officers meant that they will have the same opportunities as their male counterparts to grow in ranks and structures within the Army. The DSSC course is run for Major and Lt Col equivalent ranks of the three Services.
Unlike other courses in the Army – National Defence College, High Command and Higher Defence Management – which are all nominated, selection to DSSC is based on a competitive examination. Completion of the course enables Army personnel for staff appointments to Lt Col rank and also gives them an advantage in promotions to the rank of Colonel, which takes place via selection.
Till the Colonel rank, all promotions are based on a time scale — one becomes a Major after seven years of service and a Lt Col after 13 years.
DSSC is the only institution of its kind in India that moved from Quetta in Pakistan and has completed 74 years at Wellington.
Several Service chiefs have undergone the DSSC course, including former Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat.