In a major development, the Supreme Court on Wednesday passed interim order allowing women to take the admission exam on September 5 to National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune. At present only boys can join the NDA. The interim order was passed by a division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy while hearing a petition filed by Kush Kalra. In the plea, the petitioner has sought permission for women candidates to appear for the NDA exam. Meanwhile, the admissions will be subject to the final orders of the top court. Changing role of Women Officers in Indian Defence Forces.
The Centre was represented by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati. She argued that allowing only men to join the NDA is a policy decision of the government. However, the bench called it a “gender discrimination”.” This is a policy decision based on gender discrimination…respondents (Centre), must take a constructive view,” reported The Times of India quoting the bench as saying. Lady Officers in Indian Army to Get Permanent Commission
The Supreme Court also pulled up the Indian Army for not giving enough opportunities for women. It added that the force should not wait for judicial orders to be passed in these matters. The petition said that the notice issued by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is in complete violation of Article 14, 15, 16 and 19 of the Constitution. First Batch Of 83 Women Soldiers Inducted Into Military Police Of The Indian Army.
The plea pointed out that in the notice it was mentioned that the candidate must be an unmarried male. The petition added that the notice excluded eligible and willing female candidates. Women officers are allowed to undergo training at the Officers Training Academies (OTAs) – at Gaya and Chennai, the Air Force Academy and the Indian Naval Academy. However, only men allowed to join the Indian Military Academy, directly through CDS or after passing out through the NDA.
Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that women could serve as army commanders and should be granted permanent commission and promotions equal to their male counterparts. n 2015, then defence minister Manohar Parrikar told Parliament that the armed forces had given PC to 340 women officers. Notably, till February this year, there were 6.5 percent of women employed in the Indian Navy, while 1.08 percent in the Indian Air Force only and 0.56 percent in the Indian Army.