The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a formal government sanction letter to grant Permanent Commission (PC) to women officers in the Indian Army, paving the way to change the mindset to "put to end gender discrimination" in the armed force.
Earlier on February, the apex court had given the central government three months' time to follow the court's orders on giving PC to all serving SSC women officers in the Indian Army.
SC upholds permanent commission for women in Army
The apex court said the permanent commission will apply to all women officers in the Army in service, irrespective of their years of service.
"It is an insult to women as well as the army when aspersions are cast on women, their ability and their achievements in the Army," the Supreme Court stated.
The Indian Army spokesperson has said the move will pave way for empowering Women Officers to shoulder larger roles in the organisation.
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).
Taking to Twitter, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said, "Under PM @narendramodi, series of pathbreaking initiatives undertaken for women empowerment which are still not there in several other countries of the world. Adding to this today, Govt has issued formal sanction for grant of Permanent Commission to women officers in #IndianArmy."
The MoD order led the Indian Army to work on tweaking its existing policies on issues like training, physical endurance and postings and service courses to bring about equilibrium in service conditions for male and female officers.
"In anticipation, the Army Headquarters had set in motion a series of preparatory actions for conduct of the Permanent Commission Selection Board for affected Women Officers," read an Army statement.
As of now, the percentage of women in the Indian Army was only 3.89 per cent, Navy 6.7 per cent and Air Force 13.28 per cent, excluding the medical corps, dental corps and Military Nursing Service.
The Selection Board will be scheduled as soon as all affected SSC Women Officers exercise their option and complete requisite documentation.