PERMANENT COMMISSSION FOR WOMEN
- November 25, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Security
Context : Women Army officers moved the Supreme Court to debunk the defence establishment’s announcement that only 422 of 615 women officers screened have been found fit for a Permanent Commission (PC). .
- Under the Short Service Commission scheme, women were commissioned into the Army for a period of 10 years, extendable up to 14 years.
- Women were, however, restricted to roles in specified streams such as Army Education Corps, Corps of Signals, Intelligence Corps and Corps of Engineers. These specified streams excluded combat arms such as infantry and armoured corps.
- While male SSC officers could opt for permanent commission at the end of 10 years of service, this option was not available to women officers. Women officers were kept out of any command appointment and could not qualify for a government pension, which starts only after 20 years of service as an officer.
- In February 2020, the SC held that there is a need for an administrative will and ‘change of mindset’ and directed the government to grant PC and command postings in all services other than combat to women Army officers.
Permanent Commission for Women
- The Ministry of Defence has taken steps to ensure implementation of the grant of PC to women officers and all three services have allowed permanent recruitment of women in select streams including medical, education, legal, signals, logistics and engineering.
- Indian Air Force: Women Officers recruited through the SSC in the IAF have the option of seeking PC in all streams except the flying branch.
- Indian Navy: In March 2020, the SC cleared the way for PC to women in Indian Navy as well.
- The Navy has allowed PC of women in a host of departments such as logistics, naval designing, air traffic control, engineering and legal.
- Indian Army: Women officers are granted PC in the Indian Army in all the ten branches where women are inducted for SSC.
- The women officers will be eligible to occupy all the command appointments, at par with male officers, which would open avenues for further promotions to higher ranks for them.
- If women officers had served only in staff, they would not have gone beyond the rank of Colonel.
- After implementation, women can rise to the rank of Colonel and above based on merit, like their male counterparts.
- At the rank of Colonel, an officer picks up a substantive command and would be delegated to carry out independent tasks.
- A Colonel commands a battalion, which typically consists of 850 men. A woman officer who is successful in this position could technically rise to the highest ranks of the Army, though, women officers will not be inducted into the combat arms such as the infantry, artillery or armoured corps.