The long wait for the female officers to get a permanent commission in the Indian Army seems to be over. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday announced that women will be eligible for permanent commission in all 10 branches of the Army. Currently there are only in two branches --Judge Advocate General (JAG) and Army Education Corps (AEC) -- where women officers are allowed permanent commission (PC). In other branches, women are recruited under the Short Service Commission (SSC) where they are allowed to serve for a maximum period of 14 years. The last 4 years of this 14-year duration is an extension period which is granted based on the performance of the officer and the requirement in the Army.
The Hindustan Times reported that Corps of Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordnance Corps, and the Intelligence Corps are the eight new branches thrown open to women serving under SSC for permanent commission. In a release, MoD stated: "SSC women officers will give their option for permanent commission before completion of four years of commissioned service... They will be considered for grant of permanent commission based on suitability, merit etc and will be employed in various staff appointments."
Recent times have witnessed defence forces opening up and allowing women to come on par with their male counterparts when it comes to serving. The ban on women becoming a fighter in the Indian Air force was lifted in October 2015 and women were made eligible to serve in all the branches of the IAF. Eventually, in June 2016, Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh, Mohana Singh of Rajasthan and Bhawana Kanth of Bihar, ushered in a new era for the Indian defence forces when they became the first batch of women to be inducted as fighter pilots in the IAF.
The ministry further said that more opportunities will be provided for women in Navy too. The Indian Navy notifies only for non-sea going branches/cadre through SSC. "In addition to education, law and naval constructor branch, women SSC officers have been made eligible for grant of PC in the naval armament branch, on par with the male officers," the ministry added.
There are only limited countries all across the world which allow women in direct front-line combat roles. The countries where women may serve in military combat roles are mostly European. It's permitted in all Scandinavian nations, which have the narrowest gender gaps in the world.