Women in the Army can finally look forward to some more good news.
The Army is holding consultations to chalk up a plan to grant permanent commission to women in its ranks, becoming the last arm of the military to give up resistance to women serving till the age of retirement.
Until last year, women in the Army were only entitled to Short Service Commission (SSC) which allows a person to serve for 14 years with multiple extensions. Due to this, those retiring are left without any pension as pensionable service is 20 years.
The discussions held by the Army have increasingly been about sorting the logistics of accommodating women in the operational areas, and not anymore about women’s ability to serve on the frontlines, an army officer told The Hindu.
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The government has to send an affidavit on the policy changes to the Supreme Court within two weeks, and a final policy will be made ready in six months. The Centre on Monday, 23rd April, told the Supreme Court that it was considering granting permanent commission to those officers already serving under SSC.
These welcome changes may be a by-product of Smt Nirmala Sitharaman’s appointment as India’s first woman Defence Minister.
The Air Force and the Navy shed their opposition to granting permanent commission to women in 2010. Approximately, 350 women serve both the forces as permanent commissioned officers, besides doctors and nurses who have historically served alongside male counterparts.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)