Govt sanctions permanent commission to women officers in Indian Army

The Ministry of Defence has issued the formal government sanction letter for grant of Permanent Commission (PC) to Women Officers in the Indian Army, paving the way for empowering Women Officers to shoulder larger roles in the organisation, said Indian Army spokesperson.

SC directs Centre to ensure women army officers be given permanent commission on a par with male officers (Photo: HT)

  • The order specifies grant of permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) women officers
  • Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected SSC women officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation

The order specifies grant of permanent commission to Short Service Commissioned (SSC) Women Officers in all ten streams of the Indian Army i.e Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps in addition to the existing streams of Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC).

Their Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected SSC women officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had granted one more month to the Centre to implement its verdict directing that permanent commission be given to all serving SSC women officers in the Army. The top court’s direction came on an application filed by the Centre seeking six months’ time for implementation of the verdict citing the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the hearing, the Centre told the bench that decision making on the issue is at a final stage and only formal orders remain to be issued.

In a landmark verdict on February 17, the top court had directed that women officers in the Army be granted permanent commission and command postings, rejecting the Centre’s stand of their physiological limitations as being based on “sex stereotypes” and “gender discrimination against women”.

It had earlier directed the Centre that within three months, all serving SSC women officers have to be considered for Permanent Commissions irrespective of them having crossed 14 years or, as the case may be, 20 years of service.

The top court had noted that Indian Army has sanctioned 50,266 posts for officers, while the posts currently occupied are 40,825 including 1,653 by women officers.

It had noted that there is shortage of 9,441 officers in the Indian Army.

There are total of 1,653 women officers which is a miniscule 4 % of the total strength of commissioned officers in the Army, it had said.

The total of 1,653 officers includes — 77 having above 20 years of service, 255 having service tenure between 14 and 20 years and the fate of 322 women officers was to be decided by the verdict of the apex court.

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