Indian Army Updates

How women cadets benefit the army

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 3- Women in Indian army

Context

Last year, the Supreme Court threw open the hallowed portals of the National Defence Academy for women. Something to truly celebrate on January 15, Army Day, this year.

Background

  • The first batch of women officers was inducted into the Indian Army in non-medical roles via the Short Service Commission in 1992.
  • Since 2008, women were inducted as permanent commissioned officers in the legal and education corps  and as permanent commissioned officers in eight more non-combative corps in 2020.

The low number of women in Army

  • As recent as 2020, women officers in the Indian army (excluding the medical corps) numbered just about three per cent.
  • Compare this to 16 per cent in the US, 15 per cent in France and 10 per cent in both Russia and the UK.

Significance of allowing women to NDA

  • When in February 2020, the Supreme Court decreed that women officers should get command positions on par with male officers, it also effectively dismissed the military’s earlier objection that it would lead to “operational, practical and cultural problems”.
  • The SC went on to say that denying women commands based on the above argument was discriminatory and reinforced stereotypes.
  • Last year, the Supreme Court threw open the National Defence Academy for women to compete for the seats and subsequent permanent commission in the Indian army in any corps they desire, including the combat ones.
  • Addressing the shortage of officers: This may effectively address the long-standing shortage of officers in the Indian army in general. In response to a question in Rajya Sabha a month ago, the Minister of State for Defence said the Army has a shortage of 7,476 officers.
  • This torch may also help confront the chauvinism, often misspelt as chivalry, that indisputably exists in the Army.

Conclusion

The move promises to change the composition of this arm of the defence force not just quantitatively, but also qualitatively — both dire requirements of the force at present.

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Back2Basics: Permanent Commission (PC) Vs. Short Service Commission (SSC)

  • SSC means an officer’s career will be of a limited period in the Indian Armed Forces whereas a PC means they shall continue to serve in the Indian Armed Forces, till they retire.
  • The officers inducted through the SSC usually serve for a period of 14 years.
  • At the end of 10 years, the officers have three options.
  • A PC entitles an officer to serve in the Navy till he/she retires unlike SSC, which is currently for 10 years and can be extended by four more years, or a total of 14 years.
  • They can either select for a PC or opt-out or have the option of a 4-years extension.
  • They can resign at any time during this period of 4 years extension.
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