The Ministry of Defense on Thursday this week, issued the formal letter following Supreme Court verdict that now allows eligible women officers to play a larger role and take on more responsibility in the Indian Army. The Centre has granted Permanent Commission (PC) for lady army personnel following the same procedure that has been followed The grant order specifies Permanent Commission to SSC – Short Service Commissioned in all the ten streams of the Indian Army including the Army Air Defense (AAD), Engineers, Signals, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), Army Service Corps (ASC), and Intelligence Corps along with the existing streams of Army Educational Corps (AEC) and Judge and Advocate General (JAG).
Anticipating this grant from the Centre, the Indian Army headquarters had already started preparing for the PC Selection Board for Women Officers, and it will be scheduled as soon as all eligible women personnel exercise their choice and complete the necessary documentation. It’s been quite some time since women in the Indian Army have been striving for equal opportunities for all defence personnel. It was last year in November when the Army was directed by the Army to decide the permanent commission of eight women army officers. They had approached the court back in 2010 regarding the bar placed on their absorption in the armed forces.
When about 322 women officers approached the apex court regarding the issue of PC and command postings to which the government cited “physiological and physical limitations” for granting command positions to women personnel. The Supreme Court on February 17, rejected the Centre’s argument of “physiological limitations” as being based on “gender discrimination against women.” Irrespective of women officers having crossed 14 or 20 years of service, all serving SSC women will be eligible for Permanent Commission. It has been noted by the top court out of 50,266 positions sanctioned for officers, 1,653 are women officers of the 40,825 occupied posts. With 77 of 1,653 women officers having 20+ years of service, 255 with a tenure between 14-20 years, and it was the fate of 322 women officers that was decided by Supreme Court’s verdict this week.